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N. Korea increased production of nuclear weapons materials in recent months: report

In this June 12, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

North Korea has increased the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons at a number of secret facilities in recent months, though it agreed with the United States earlier this month to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, major U.S. television network NBC has reported, citing U.S. officials.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may try to hide these facilities in future negotiations with the Trump administration, the NBC report on its website said.

According to the report, five U.S. officials said Pyongyang was stepping up the production of enriched uranium, which can be used for the production of nuclear weapons.

Kim Jong Un agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump in a summit in Singapore on June 12 to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reportedly set to visit North Korea soon to continue discussions toward getting rid of North Korea's nuclear warheads, which are estimated by some experts to number up to 80.

President Trump announced after the summit that the United States and South Korea will suspend their joint military exercises. The announcement, many experts said, will benefit Pyongyang and its backer China substantially and may weaken the U.S. hand in pressuring North Korea to proceed with denuclearization.

(Mainichi)

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