North Korea as a de facto Nuclear Weapon State
Despite many commitments to the broad International Community of nations (e.g. the United Nations) to refrain from developing / continuing with a nuclear weapons program, the People’s Republic of North Korea (PRK) continues to proceed in secret and develop nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Since 2006, the PRK has conducted a series of six nuclear tests and became a de facto nuclear weapon state (NWS), in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) classification.
As of 2019, the PRK is estimated to possess an arsenal of 20–30 nuclear weapons and fissile materials for additional 30–60 nuclear weapons. The PRK successfully tested nuclear bombs based on plutonium, highly enriched uranium and hydrogen, and it claims to have developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead suitable for short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Siegfried S. Hecker, former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, assessed that the PRK would need further tests and developments to produce a smaller and more robust warhead suitable for an ICBM and re-entry into the atmosphere. The PRK conducted tests of various strategic missiles…
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