Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear weapons
North Korea’s first successful test of a nuclear weapon, in October 2006, was a watershed moment for the communist state and a result of decades of work dating to the 1950s. Today the country’s nuclear arsenal — estimated to consist of fewer than 10 bombs — is a matter of immense pride and an insurance policy for a regime that sees itself threatened by larger countries, including the United States. North Korea performed a second test in May 2009 and announced that it had begun ramping up its plutonium production and a previously undisclosed program to make enriched uranium. Read related article.
Sources: Federation of American Scientists; Air Force Air and Space Intelligence Center; International Atomic Energy Agency; staff reports. The Washington Post.