Larry Niksch (_right_) from CRS recently published an “interesting summary”:http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200503/200503200025.html of the relevant intel in the _Chosun Ilbo_.
Niksch mentions a pair of 1993 Russian intel reports that point toward a North Korean HEU program:
bq. There are also assessments from non-U.S. sources simultaneous with or earlier than those of the Clinton Administration. Of special importance are the Russian intelligence assessments of the 1993. Reports in two Japanese journals and the Russian newspaper, Izvestia, quoted from two Russian intelligence documents, an October 1993 Defense Ministry report entitled â€œThe Russian Federationâ€™s Military Policy in the Asia and Pacific Region Under the New Military-Political Conditions” and a 1993 report of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service on â€œWeapons of Mass Destruction in the World.” Both Russian assessments asserted that North Korea had an active uranium enrichment program.
I am curious as to whether anyone has a copy of the Russian reports . I haven’t been able to find them, but maybe someone with sweeter skills can.
Niksch also correctly points out that South Korean intel sources have been cited in the ROK press for a while now on this issue. Those have never quite been solid enough for _ACT_ to publish, but Seoul clearly seems to think that North Korea has some sort of HEU effort.
There is, however, still no good evidence that the program is, or was, as advanced as North Korea’s plutonium progam.
*As an aside*, when I was doing the reporting for the article I wrote last month about this subject, I couldn’t find anyone who would really defend the intelligence. Now, there are obviously people I missed who likely would defend it, but it’s interesting that no one else reporting on the matter is having much better luck.
_Update_: The sweet skills are on display in the comments section.