North Korea may turn to Russia to expand nuclear arsenal, U.S. expert warns

SpaceWar.com reports: “North Korea has given up any interest in diplomatic relations with the United States and may use growing ties with Russia to give a dangerous boost to its nuclear weapons program, a top American scientist warned on Tuesday.

‘The recent linkup of Russia and North Korea is really serious and significant,’ Siegfried Hecker, the former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, said at a press briefing and lecture in Seoul.

‘Kim Jong Un in the past year-and-a-half or so has made a fundamental strategic decision to give up a 30-year effort … to seek normalization with U.S., and instead has turned back to China and Russia,’ Hecker said of the North Korean leader.

Hecker is one of the world’s leading experts on the North’s nuclear program. The Stanford University professor emeritus visited North Korea seven times between 2004 and 2010 and was given rare access to its Yongbyon nuclear research facility.

Kim has called for North Korea to boost its production of nuclear weapons ‘exponentially,’ but Hecker said the isolated regime does not have the capacity to produce enough fissile material.

However, Pyongyang has reportedly begun supplying ammunition for Russia’s war in Ukraine and Hecker said Moscow may be willing to reciprocate with nuclear fuel or technical assistance…”

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