North Korea restarts plutonium production

North Korea restarts plutonium productionNorth Korea confirmed it has resumed plutonium production and said it has no plans to stop nuclear tests as long as perceived threats from the United States continue, Kyodo reported Wednesday.

The Atomic Energy Institute, which holds jurisdiction over North Korea's main nuclear facilities at the Yongbyon complex, also told Kyodo it had been producing highly enriched uranium necessary for nuclear arms and power "as scheduled."

"We have reprocessed spent nuclear fuel rods removed from a graphite-moderated reactor," the institute said Kyodo in its first-ever response to foreign media questions.

The institute did not mention the amount of plutonium or enriched uranium it had produced.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, already reported in June North Korea appeared to have reopened the Yongbyon plant to produce plutonium from spent fuel of a reactor central to its atomic weapons drive.
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