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North Korea Vows To Restart Nuclear Facilities

North Korea on Tuesday said it plans to restart its 5 megawatt nuclear reactor that was shut down under an agreement reached at the six-party talks in 2007, Yonhap News reports.

Posted on April 2, 2013, at 2:02 a.m. ET

Kcna / Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has vowed to restart all mothballed facilities at its main Yongbyon nuclear complex. They were closed in 2007 as part of an international nuclear disarmament deal.

The announcement Tuesday follows weeks of warlike rhetoric from North Korea, including threats to launch nuclear strikes against the U.S. The country has also declared that making nuclear arms and a stronger economy are the nation's top priorities.

The Korean Central News Agency:

North Korea (DRPK) to Adjust Uses of Existing Nuclear Facilities

Pyongyang, April 2 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the General Department of Atomic Energy of the DPRK gave the following answer to a question raised by KCNA as regards the new strategic line laid down at the March, 2013 plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of nuclear armed force to cope with the prevailing situation so as to meet the law-governing requirements of the development of the Korean revolution: The field of atomic energy is faced with heavy tasks for making a positive contribution to solving the acute shortage of electricity by developing the self-reliant nuclear power industry and for bolstering up the nuclear armed force both in quality and quantity till the world is denuclearized, pursuant to the strategic line on simultaneously pushing forward economic construction and the building of the nuclear armed force. The General Department of Atomic Energy of the DRPK decided to adjust and alter the uses of the existing nuclear facilities, to begin with, in accordance with the line. This will include the measure for readjusting and restarting all the nuclear facilities in Nyongbyon including uranium enrichment plant and 5MW graphite moderated reactor which had been mothballed and disabled under an agreement reached at the six-party talks in October, 2007. This work will be put into practice without delay.

Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 2:22 a.m. ET:

One year needed before North Korea could get enough plutonium for a nuclear bomb:

It would take about 1 year of restarted operations at the reactor before #DPRK could extract enough Pu to make 1 more nuclear bomb.

It would take about 1 year of restarted operations at the reactor before #DPRK could extract enough Pu to make 1 more nuclear bomb.-- Steve Herman

Photo from June 30, 2008 of demolition of Yongbyon reactor's cooling tower: http://t.co/uW8x5kGfXb

Photo from June 30, 2008 of demolition of Yongbyon reactor's cooling tower: http://t.co/uW8x5kGfXb-- Steve Herman

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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