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US wary of North Korea weapons advances while talks take place

2018-03-08 09:48:55       source:Straits Times

March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters)  North Korea could buy time to build up and refine its nuclear arsenal, including a warhead able to survive re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, if it manages to drag out any talks with Washington, US officials and experts say.

Even if North Korea freezes nuclear detonations and missile tests during such talks - as South Korea has said Pyongyang offered to do - there is plenty of other technical work it could pursue while diplomatic efforts are under way, they say.

Such work could include completing development of a re-entry vehicle that can deliver a nuclear weapon, production of rocket frames, engines and mobile launchers and increasing the output of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for bomb-making.

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