Singapore

Pyongyang has plutonium for 10 nuclear bombs: Seoul

SEOUL North Korea now has enough plutonium to make 10 nuclear bombs, South Korea said yesterday, a week after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said it was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The isolated communist state is thought to be planning a nuclear push this year as it seeks to develop a weapons system capable of hitting the US mainland.

Seoul's defence ministry said Pyongyang is believed to have about 50kg of weapons-grade plutonium - enough to make about 10 weapons - as of last month, up from 40kg eight years earlier.

North Korea also has a "considerable" ability to produce weapons based on highly-enriched uranium, Seoul said.

US think tank the Institute for Science and International Security estimated last June that North Korea's total nuclear arsenal was more than 21 bombs, based on estimates of plutonium and uranium.- AFP

North KoreaSouth Koreabombing