2 January 2018

North Korean nuclear capabilities, 2018

Hans M. Kristensen

Kristensen is the director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in Washington, DC. His work focuses on researching and writing about the status of...

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Robert S. Norris

Norris is a senior fellow with the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC. A former senior research...

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The authors cautiously estimate that North Korea may have produced enough fissile material to build between 30 and 60 nuclear weapons, and that it might possibly have assembled 10 to 20. Although North Korea is thought to have the capability to develop an operationally functioning re-entry vehicle to deliver an operational nuclear warhead, there is some uncertainty about whether it has demonstrated that it has succeeded in doing so. Nonetheless, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has made considerable progress over the years, including a wide variety of ballistic and powerful nuclear tests. Presumably, if it hasn't happened already, it is only a matter of time before Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal can be considered fully functioning. Read more from this latest Nuclear Notebook in our new issue of the digital Journal. The Nuclear Notebook is always free-access.