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North Korea may be in process of ramping up nuclear weapons: report

An American research institute has said North Korea could be building up its nuclear arsenal. The report said it might not even be taking into account all of the country's nuclear activity.

The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said in its report on Tuesday that North Korea could have added six or more nuclear weapons to its arsenal in the past year and a half.

The organization estimated last year that North Korea had 10 to 16 nuclear weapons. In its latest report, the institute is now saying the country might have expanded the arsenal, and now has a total of 13 to 21 weapons.

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The organization also said that number didn't include the production of highly enriched uranium at a second supposed centrifuge facility.

According to Reuters news agency, the report came a week after a State Department official said Pyongyang had made moves suggesting it planned to pursue its nuclear weapons program in spite of international sanctions.

The country's leader, Kim Jong-Un, earlier expressed his intentions to continue with the program during a rare congress last month.

blc/bw (Reuters)

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