North Korea Vows to Expand Nuclear Arsenal, Restart the Yongbyon Plutonium-Producing Reactor

by Colonel on April 2, 2013

“Escalating the stakes of a standoff with Washington and its allies, North Korea is signaling that it will abandon two decades of negotiations to constrain its nuclear program and will close the door on any deal over its atomic weapons and production facilities.

The regime said Tuesday that it would expand all parts of its nuclear arsenal, including reactivating a plutonium-producing reactor complex at Yongbyon shut in 2007 as part of a disarmament agreement. Although restarting the Soviet-era facilities could take more than six months, the announcement sparked concern [of] military escalation.

North Korea also said it would bolster its “nuclear armed forces in both quantity and in quality.” The statement came two days after its untested young leader, Kim Jong Un, described North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a “treasure” that would not be abandoned or traded “for billions of dollars.”

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