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Nuclear analysts from the U.S. and Russia settled on a new method to account for atomic weapons that may shrink estimates on the size of North Korea’s arsenal and could be used to aid future disarmament.

Accounting for nuclear material stockpiled by countries is at the heart of the global arms-control system and plays a central role in verifying disarmament agreements. Publication of the new model in a forthcoming edition of Janes Intelligence Review comes as diplomats from the two countries with the biggest nuclear stockpiles convene in Vienna to discuss an extension of a treaty to limit the number of deployed weapons.

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