Over at 38 North, I have a post up about North Korea’s boast that its scientists “succeeded in nuclear fusion reaction” and what that might mean for its stockpile of nuclear weapons:
A boosted weapon requires tritium (or, in the case of the “layer cake,” lithium-6 deuteride) which has a half-life of only 12.4 years and must be produced in a nuclear reactor. Did North Korea produce a small amount of tritium in one of its reactors or purchase the material from Pakistan? There is no public confirmation—or even as far as I know defector allegations—that North Korea is developing a boosted fission weapon or stockpiling tritium, lithium-6 deuteride or other fusion fuels. If it is a reasonable assumption that boosted weapons are North Korea’s next step, there is no solid evidence that they have taken it—yet.
Am looking forward to the comments on this one.