CHILLING satellite images show Kim Jong-un's secret weapons development base days after the UN revealed he now has nuclear devices which can be fitted to ballistic missiles.
The imagery- from monitors at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)- show a worrying escalation in activity at North Korea's Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant.
Expert analysts say the imagery exposes "North Korea's capacity to grow their nuclear weapons programme" .
CSIS's Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea chair, said: "The Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant is located about 45 km from the DMZ in North Korea.
"It produces uranium concentrate – the feedstock to fuel North Korea's nuclear reactors from which they reprocess fissile material – both plutonium and uranium based for their nuclear weapons programs."
He said the new images give multiple clues that North Korea is developing its controversial nuclear programme on the quiet, reports the Express.
"Among the most notable activities seen are the expansion of tailings piles. Tailings piles are the rock that's left over after you actually extract the ore that contains uranium in it," he said.
He added: "It's hard to determine, based on the activity at this facility, how many nuclear weapons North Korea has.
"What we do know from looking at this facility is that its activity tells us that nuclear fuel continues to be produced for these reactors, which only means that they have the capacity to expand their nuclear bombs rather than give them up."
Earlier this week, intelligence stated the isolated state has the capability to usenuclear-armed missiles to strike at the US mainland and other targets in the West.
The report, seen by Reuters, stated that a number of unidentified countries believe that nuclear tests conducted in recent years had likely enabled it to develop miniaturised nuclear devices.
It was submitted on Monday to the UN's 15-member Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea.
The committee was established by a UN resolution to gather information and monitor the North Korea's attempts to gain a nuclear weapon following its first nuclear test in 2006.
The same resolution introduced sanctions – since strengthened – intended to deter the regime.
North Korea is known to have conducted six nuclear tests in total, one each in 2006, 2009, and 2013, two in 2016, and one in 2017.
It's now been claimed a small natural earthquake detected in North Korea on Wednesday was likely a result of seismic instability left over from the 2017 test.
A magnitude 2.5 earthquake was detected in Hamgyong Province, the location of North Korea’s shuttered Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, according to South Korea’s Meteorological Administration.
“It was a natural earthquake, presumably caused by the sixth nuclear test,” the administration said in a statement on its website.
“The area is about three kilometres (1.86 miles) southeast of the sixth nuclear test site.”
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