Anti-North Korea protesters chant slogans with a defaced North Korean flag at a protest demanding disarmament of North Korea’s nuclear weapons in Seoul June 15, 2007. The path to disarming North Korea of its nuclear weapons will prove much harder than clearing a deadlock over its funds that took nearly two years, South Korea’s chief envoy to six-way talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear programmes, was quoted as saying on Friday.
U.S. intelligence agencies think North Korea is continuing development of nuclear weapons, as well as working on “miniaturization” of weapons for missile warheads, according to a senior Bush administration official.
Since the February nuclear accord reached in Beijing, North Korea has continued work on weapons, said a senior Bush administration official involved in North Korean affairs.
“There are no indications that they are not pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, to include the weaponization and miniaturization,” the official said.
U.S. intelligence officials think North Korea, which received equipment through the covert Pakistani nuclear-supplier network headed by Abdul Qadeer Khan, obtained Chinese documents on designing a small warhead, the key to developing a nuclear weapon small enough for missile warheads.
The Chinese-language warhead design documents were first uncovered in Libya, which gave up its nuclear program in 2003.
Three recent missile tests in North Korea over the past several weeks were anti-ship cruise missiles fired during exercises that were not unusual for North Korean military forces at this time of year, the official said.
“Those who are looking at the six-party process and where we are today with [the Banco Delta Asia funds transfer] are very disappointed,” the senior official said. “This doesn’t build confidence. This is a time that is very tense and we want to go to implementing the 13 February agreement. So even though this is a normal exercises, I think there is an element of disappointment that North Korea would move in that direction.”
North Korea has shown no signs of preparing of another underground nuclear test but “they could have a nuclear test at any time with minimal or no warning,” the official said.
The October test was a “nuclear event” but the blast caused by the test was smaller than North Korea had hoped, the official said.
Does America have another surprise awaiting this 4th of July? Remember when Kim Jong-Il test fired a missile towards Hawaii last year?
There needs to be resolution of these negotiations or UN sanctions should resume against North Korea.
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