Are you keeping up with the news coming out of the Korean Peninsula? It’s been a tumultuous few years for the world where north Korea has continuous efforts in increasing its nuclear power, and now there is new evidence that North Korea has increased its plutonium stock.
Recent documents acquired from South Korea’s defense ministry indicate that Pyongyang has produced an additional 70kg of plutonium since 2017, more than enough to create nuclear warheads.
This means North Korea may have as many as 20-30 nukes at its disposal. As global leaders try to figure out what this could mean for regional stability and international security, the outcome remains uncertain for us all. By reading about recent developments in South Korean defense reports, we can gain a bit more insight into this complex dynamic.
What’s South Korean Defense White Paper Say’s
The Defense White Paper from South Korea provides an unsettling glimpse into the growing nuclear capabilities of North Korea. The reported 40% increase in the country’s weapons-grade plutonium is a testament to North Korea’s willingness to continue to pursue a nuclear program, despite international condemnation and sanctions.
Estimates show that 13 pounds of plutonium is required for one nuclear bomb and allegedly these stockpiles are mainly concentrated at the mainstay nuclear complex in Yongbyon, raising concerns about Pyongyang’s capacity for effective deterrence.
North Korea has also increased its conventional forces with 1.28 million active-duty personnel, a large number for a specific region such as this. South Korea demonstrates its concern in its White Paper, warning of the ongoing threat posed by its belligerent Northern neighbor.