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N. Korea spends estimated $620 mln on nuclear weapons in 2019

All News 11:35 May 14, 2020

SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is estimated to have spent US$620 million on its nuclear weapons program last year, an international anti-nuclear weapons group said.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization, made the estimation in a report about the expenditures that nine countries, including the North, made on nuclear development.

The figure was drawn based on a South Korean think tank's estimate that the North spent 35 percent of its gross national income (GNI) on its military in 2009, as well as data from Global Zero, another anti-nuclear weapons group, that the North is believed to have spent 6 percent of the military budget on nuclear development in 2011.

Citing data from the Bank of Korea, this week's report said the North's GNI for 2018 was estimated at 35.895 trillion Korean won.

The North spent an estimated 753 billion won ($620 million) on its nuclear program in 2018, and a similar amount is believed to have been spent last year too, the report said.

North Korea is estimated to have 35 nuclear weapons, and is developing nuclear-capable missiles that can be launched from the ground and from submarines, the report said.

Among the nine countries on the report, the United States spent the most on nuclear weapons, with $35.4 billion, followed by China with $10.4 billion and the United Kingdom with $8.9 billion.

The total spending on nuclear weapons stood at $72.9 billion in 2019, an increase of $7.1 billion from the previous year, the report said.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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