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Fresh North Korean Weapon Gains Raise Pressure on Pompeo Trip

  • Reports suggest Kim continues to ramp up nuclear program
  • Moves show how far regime remains from giving up arsenal
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Bloomberg’s Stephen Engle reports on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea on July 5.(Source: Bloomberg)

Evidence of new efforts by Kim Jong Un to expand his nuclear arsenal shows the challenge facing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he returns to Pyongyang this week to seek a detailed disarmament plan.

Several reports released in recent days suggest that Kim continued to ramp up his weapons production before his June 12 summit with President Donald Trump, after which the U.S. leader declared North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat.” The reports published by independent researchers and media organizations detail efforts to increase fuel production, build more missile launchers and expand a key rocket-engine manufacturing facility.