NORTH Korea possesses several small nuclear bombs and the means of delivering and triggering them, a Hong Kong newspaper reported yesterday.
The Sunday Morning Post gave as its source two senior European diplomats, both based in Beijing, who had just returned from Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.
``North Korea has, in our opinion, the full capacity to enrich natural uranium and graphite of North Korean origin, and has built several kilo-sized bombs. We established, as well, that testing sites exist,'' the newspaper quoted one Western diplomat as writing in a report.
The North Korean government denies it is developing nuclear weapons but has refused to allow international inspectors to verify the claim. Pyongyang threatened in March to pull out of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty rather than bow to international pressure. It agreed to suspend its withrawal after securing high-level talks with Washington, but negotiations are at an impasse.
The envoys also concluded that the North Koreans had finally perfected ignition devices for nuclear weapons and had adapted their Scud-B missiles to carry weapons of mass destruction.
The Post quoted the envoys as saying that Pyongyang had acquired mobile launching vehicles, but had not performed a full-scale nuclear test. The Post said the envoys met Kim Jong Il, the successor to Kim Il Sung, but gave no details about how the two diplomats gathered their information.