WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Two American experts have gathered evidence that suggests North Korea scientists have developed the ability to produce their own sophisticated components for nuclear weapons.
Working with Scott Kemp, an expert on centrifuge technology at M.I.T., U.S. government consultant Joshua Pollack will make a presentation on Wednesday to a conference organized by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, South Korea.
On his website, Pollack writes that his presentation will describe evidence “that North Korea has set about establishing domestic production for crucial components and technologies for gas centrifuges.” The New York Times reports that the production of these centrifuges is a difficult feat that would undermine U.S. efforts to sanction and stop the country’s enrichment of uranium.
“If the North Koreans are successfully making their own parts, they would essentially invalidate much of the international strategy to force them to denuclearize and make it more difficult to monitor their production progress,” reports the Times.
In 2010, North Korea escorted a Stanford University nuclear expert to their main nuclear complex north of Pyongyang, where they displayed a modern plant housing 2,000 gas centrifuges.
Pollack said he and Dr. Kemp had analyzed data which included scientific journals, Johns Hopkins satellite photographs of North Korean installations, news reports and propaganda from North Korea to find evidence that the country has perhaps already learned how to create crucial centrifuge components to aid the country’s enrichment of nuclear weapons.
In April, North Korea declared it would “adjust and alter the use of the existing nuclear facilities” for “bolstering up the nuclear armed force both in quality and quantity.”