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North Korea: Nuclear Weapons

Defence written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the nuclear weapons capability of (a) North Korea and (b) Iran.

Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. We currently assess it has produced sufficient plutonium for a small number of nuclear weapons. We have also noted the recent disclosures in November 2010 of a uranium enrichment capability, which could also be used to support a nuclear weapon programme.

Iran is not currently assessed to have nuclear weapons. However it continues to pursue uranium enrichment and the construction of a heavy water research reactor, both of which have military potential, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. We share the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has not adequately explained evidence of possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme.

We continue to implement all UN Security Council resolutions relating to North Korea and Iran.

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