North Korea may produce 14-18 warheads by 2019 if talks fail

North Korea may be able to produce 14 to 18 nuclear warheads by 2019 if the multilateral talks for its denuclearization fail, according to a leading expert.  "If North Korea is able to refurbish its fuel fabrication plant, that production rate could continue indefinitely with its arsenal reaching 14-18 weapons by 2019," said Joel Wit, a visiting fellow at the Ploughshares-funded U.S. Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, in a report titled "Four Scenarios for a nuclear North Korea."  He said that North Korea's "nuclear stockpile is believed to consist of sufficient plutonium to build 4-8 weapons…Using existing stocks of fresh fuel, North Korea could produce a bomb's worth of plutonium each year from 2011-2013.”

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