April 2, 2013
North Korea pledged on Tuesday to restart facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, including a uranium enrichment plant and a reactor, in a move likely to further ratchet up tensions in the region.
The reactor at Yongbyon, which supplied plutonium for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, was shut down in July 2007 as part of international disarmament talks that have since stalled. Analysts say the reactor can produce around 7 kilograms of plutonium a year, or enough for an atomic bomb every twelve months.
Work to restart the reactor will begin “without delay,” a spokesperson from North Korea’s General Department of Atomic Energy was quoted as saying by the state-run KCNA news agency. The spokesperson also said the move would boost the “quality and quantity” of the isolated northeast Asian state’s nuclear capability.
The move came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on Sunday that developing the country’s nuclear weapons was a top priority and a means of maintaining the fragile peace in the region.
This article was posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 4:53 am