North Korean Yongbyon nuclear reactor reactivated

North Korea announced on Tuesday that it has reactivated its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon with the intention of producing more weaponized fissile material.

The state run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted an unnamed director of North ­Korea’s Atomic Energy Institute as saying that they were “steadily improving the ­levels of nuclear weapons with various missions in quality and quantity.”

Along with reactivating the Yongbyon facility, KCNA announced that the North Korea government would also be testing long-range missiles.

“The world will clearly see a series of satellites of [North] Korea soaring into the sky at the times and locations determined by the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea,” KCNA quoted the director of the country’s National Aerospace Development Administration as saying.

These aggressive moves are believed to be a part of the upcoming celebrations to mark the anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s communist Worker’s Party.

This show of force also came with the usual threats against the United States.

“If the U.S. and other hostile forces persistently seek their reckless, hostile policy towards the DPRK and behave mischievously, the DPRK is fully ready to cope with them with nuclear weapons any time,” KCNA said Tuesday, using the official abbreviation for North Korea.

North Korea has ruled out the possibility of disarming its nuclear program or accepting a deal similar to the one the White House concluded with Iran earlier this year.

The State Department however, has said that it would not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.

“We call on North Korea to refrain from irresponsible provocations that aggravate regional tensions, and to instead focus on fulfilling its international obligations and commitments,” said Katina Adams, a spokeswoman for the department.

 

[Washington Post] [The Wall Street Journal]