Albright and Wit Track North Korea

Expert analysis of construction at a North Korean nuclear site has generated concern and intrigue about the North's actions, The Washington Post reports.  David Albright of The Institute for Science and International Security - a Ploughshares grantee - observed these new developments and co-authored an article detailing the new construction. Among other things, the North Koreans appear to have built two new, small buildings at Yongbyon near the site of the cooling tower they demolished in 2008.

As The Washington Post reported, “Albright said the activity could mean that North Korea is moving toward reopening Yongbyon as part of a plan to increase its stock of plutonium - now estimated at just less than 80 pounds."  Joel Wit, a Ploughshares grantee and former State Department official, also said: "Then again, it could also be a move...for show, to pull our chains.” 

Whether it is an effort to further proliferate or an insignificant show of strength, Wit and Albright will certainly be paying attention to North Korea. “‘It's a serious mistake,’ Wit said, ‘to believe that they are not capable of doing anything to step up their nuclear arsenal.’”