N. Korea says it has restarted nuclear fuel production plants in warning to U.S.

N. Korea says it has restarted nuclear fuel production plants in warning to U.S.

North Korea announced Tuesday it has upgraded and restarted all of its atomic bomb fuel production plants in a warning to the U.S. weeks after a standoff with South Korea.

The declaration by North Korea’s state media agency claimed that the country’s main nuclear facility at Yongbyon, in the country’s northwest, was “in full operation.” An official quoted by the state news agency KNCA said North Korea’s nuclear weapons are being improved in “quantity and quality.” The complex had been shut down in 2007, but officials vowed to restart it after conducting North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013.

The threats could deepen a standoff between North Korea and the U.S. and its allies over fears the country’s nuclear tests could bring it closer to its stated goal of an arsenal of nuclear-tipped long-range missiles that can hit the U.S. mainland. The announcement also is likely meant to put pressure on Washington to restart talks that could eventually provide the impoverished North with concessions and ease rigid international sanctions.

 

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