North Opts to Restart Yongbyon Facilities

Lee Sang Yong  |  2013-04-02 20:36
A spokesperson for the General Department of Atomic Energy, the North Korean nuclear energy authority, declared today, We have decided that all nuclear facilities at Yongbyon including the uranium enrichment plant, along with the 5MW graphite reactor that was halted and mothballed in accordance with the Six-Party Talks agreement of October 2007, will be re-equipped and restarted.

Speaking with Chosun Central News Agency, the spokesperson claimed that the decision was being taken in accordance with the byungjin line adopted by the Party during the late March full plenum of the Central Committee, and would be executed without delay.

The byungjin line, which was proclaimed in the North Korean media as a major change to military and economic policy, demands simultaneous development of North Koreas nuclear industry and the wider peoples economy.

The move will help North Korea to address its pressing power limitations, the spokesperson went on to assert, despite the fact that the 5MW reactor produces very little power. The General Department of Atomic Energy must first alter and adjust the end use of the existing nuclear facilities in accordance with the byungjin line, he added.

Under the October 3rd, 2007 Six-Party Talks agreement, North Korea suspended the operation of all nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. Restarting the reactor would be an abrogation of that agreement, but one that would allow them to extract plutonium from fuel rods.
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