Intelligence authorities on Tuesday said North Korea may have spent between US$2.8-$3.2 billion on its nuclear development program including expenses for transport and logistics, enough to feed its starving people for three years.
The money would have been enough to buy 9.33-10.66 million tons of grain.
The North is estimated to have spent $600-700 million on building nuclear facilities such as a reprocessing plant, nuclear reactor and light-water reactor in Yongbyon, and a Uranium refinery in Pyongsan.
Some $200-400 million may have been spent to build uranium enrichment facilities. An intelligence officer here claimed it would have cost Pyongyang $150-220 million to design, make and test the nuclear weapons.
Another $50 million or so would have gone into building nuclear test facilities in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province and conducting two previous nuclear tests there, and $100-200 million on abortive experiments in nuclear fusion, which Pyongyang claimed were successful in May 2010.