Seoul: North Korea is trying to develop
small nuclear weapons that can be delivered by missiles or aircraft, South Korea`s Defence Minister said Tuesday.
Kim Tae-Young told lawmakers the North is "constantly
seeking to make its nuclear weapons smaller" for possible
future delivery by ballistic missiles or bombers.
Kim said the North is also believed to have 40 kg of
bomb-making plutonium, slightly less than previous estimates
by the United States.
He said it is "quite possible" that Pyongyang is also
building nuclear weapons through uranium enrichment in
addition to its plutonium operation.
"The more you test the weapons, the more likely you
will deploy them to the field," the Yonhap news agency quoted
him as saying.
The North quit multinational nuclear disarmament talks
in April 2009 and conducted its second nuclear test a month later.
But Kim said he sees "no clear signs" so far that the
communist country is preparing for another test.
Kim said last month that Pyongyang is restoring facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, its source of
weapons-grade plutonium in the past.
Kim Tae-Hyo, the president`s deputy national security
adviser, also said last month that the nuclear programme could
cause immense damage in South Korea if Pyongyang develops
smaller mobile weapons.
The North`s current plutonium stockpile is estimated
to be enough for six to eight bombs.