[Ed. – Obama’s only got 6 months left in office. All the bad actors have to make hay while the sun shines. But take heart: the administration is said to be “worried.”]
North Korea has restarted production of plutonium fuel, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday, showing that it plans to pursue its nuclear weapons program in defiance of international sanctions.
The U.S. assessment came a day after the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had “indications” that Pyongyang has reactivated a plant to recover plutonium from spent reactor fuel at Yongbyon, its main nuclear complex.
The latest developments suggest North Korea’s reclusive communist government is working to ensure a steady supply of materials for its drive to build warheads, despite tightened international sanctions after its fourth nuclear test in January.
The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Washington is worried by the new plutonium reprocessing effort, but he offered no explicit word on any U.S. response.