Skip to comments.Report: North Korea resumes building nuclear reactors
Posted on 06/30/2005 7:26:41 AM PDT by HAL9000
North Korea has resumed the construction of two nuclear reactors suspended under a 1994 agreement with the United States, a Japanese newspaper reported Thursday.
North Korea restarted building a 50,000-kilowatt reactor in Yongbyon and a 200,000-kilowatt reactor in Thaechon _ both are plutonium-producing graphite-based _ Japanese economic daily Nihon Keizai said, quoting unidentified U.S. government and other sources.
Japan's Foreign Ministry said it couldn't confirm the report.
North Korea had suspended the construction of the two reactors under the 1994 deal in exchange for energy aid and two light-water reactors that are less likely to be used in nuclear arms development.
Pyongyang recently "indirectly" notified Washington that it has resumed the construction of the nuclear plants, the Nihon Keizai quoted the sources as saying. The resumption was also confirmed by spy satellites, the paper said.
North Korea claimed in February it had nuclear weapons and has since made moves that would allow it to harvest more weapons-grade plutonium.
North Korea also said through its official news media in May that it would be preparing to restart the construction.
Kim Hong-je, a spokesman with South Korea's Unification Ministry, said some have said that the North claimed doing so in its broadcast several months ago, but the ministry can't confirm it.
It is expected to take several years before the reactors are completed, and the U.S. government does not think the latest resumption of the construction immediately escalates nuclear threats from North Korea, the Nihon Keizai said.
When completed, the two facilities will give North Korea a capability of nuclear weapons mass production, the paper said.
Time for a showdown and the "NOT"-O.K. Corral.
fact is that the only way to change DPRK is through regime change. Military conflict is NOT a winning scenario for the US (I know some freepers consider a nuclear exchange in asia a winning scenario, but it really isn't, overall) at this point. There is little doubt DPRK has SOME nukes, and is certainly insane enough to use them if provoked.
I do get flamed for suggesting this occasionally, but the railway car explosion some time ago was almost certainly an attempt to take dear leader out, IMHO. As long as he is alive there will be no real reconciliation with ROK and the US, much less a cessation of construction of more and more nukes.