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North Korea claims to be restarting nuclear reactor

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A North Korean official says his country has begun to restore a key nuclear reactor, which would help North Korea to restart its plutonium-based nuclear weapons program.

The BBC reports North Korean diplomat Hyun Hak-Bong said his nation was undergoing "thorough preparations" to restart the Yongbyon reactor, which it had been in the process of shutting down in accordance with the disarmament terms of the six-nation treaty it signed in 2007. Mr. Hyun said North Korea was restoring the reactor because the US has failed to fulfill its obligations in the treaty.

When asked when [the reactor] would be restored, he said: "You'll come to know soon." ...
Mr Hyun claimed the process of decommissioning the plutonium-producing reactor at the Yongbyon plant was 90% complete.
But he said Pyongyang would respond to the US by halting the process and "proceeding with works to restore [the reactor] to its original status".

North Korea, which is currently on the US list of countries which sponsor terrorism, destroyed the Yongbyon reactor's cooling tower in June in a highly publicized display of its willingness to halt its nuclear program, reported The Christian Science Monitor in June. North Korea had earlier said it created enough plutonium for several nuclear warheads using the plant.


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