(CNN) – Analysts have said that North Korea is growing its nuclear weapon capabilities quickly. Coupled with the unpredictable nature of Dictator Kim Jong Un, the expanding nuclear stockpile worries experts. Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons buildup is advancing rapidly.
North Korea’s now estimated to have produced between 13 and 30 nuclear warheads. That’s according to a new report from former UN weapons inspector David Albright, whose firm examined the regime’s plutonium and uranium production.
Albright stresses North Korea’s nuclear program is so secretive, that completely accurate figures are difficult to get, but based on what he’s found, the former inspector has an ominous projection for the number of warheads Kim could soon produce.
Albright said, “By the end of 2020, the numbers could go up to 25 to 50 and the worst case, could go up to 60.”
With a stockpile that large, analysts have said Kim’s regime could make it harder for the U.S. to track his nuclear weapons.
Gordon Chang, author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea takes on the world” said, “That means they can disperse them. Most of them I suspect will be underground. And that ultimately means the U.S. does not have a first-strike capability because we can’t be assured of taking out all of their weapons.”
U.S. intelligence officials and independent weapons experts have said Kim Jong Un’s been more aggressive with nuclear and missile tests over the past year and a half, than he’s ever been.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the regime’s tested missiles more than 20 times since the beginning of 2016 and tested nuclear warheads twice in that span.
Albright said with each nuclear test, the young dictator gets closer to producing a more powerful nuclear bomb, “They could break in to thermonuclear weapons, if they continue to test. And that would give them the ability to make a much larger explosion. It would give them the ability to actually miniaturize their warheads better.”
Experts with the monitoring group ’38-north’ believe Kim already has the ability to test a nuclear warhead 16 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The calculations made even more menacing, by the unpredictable nature of the young man with his finger on that nuclear trigger.
Chang said, “I believe Kim Jong Un is even more dangerous than he appears- and the reason is that I don’t think his regime is stable. And that means Kim Jong Un could have a much lower threshold of risk than we think. It means he could do something that could surprise us. Because from his perspective, he may think he has little to lose.”
Analysts have said, if North Korea conducts another nuclear test in the coming days or weeks, it’s going to mean that China likely was not able to use its leverage, its influence over Kim Jong Un.