You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade now to a modern browser in order to benefit of all our site's features: Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer. [Close]

The Official Blog of Fox News Channel

AP: North Korea Vows to Restart Nuke Plant After U.S. Sends Destroyer to Region

North Korea vowed on Tuesday to restart a nuclear reactor that can make one bomb's worth of plutonium a year, escalating tensions already raised by near daily warlike threats against the U.S. and South Korea, the Associated Press reported.

Read more of the latest information out from the AP on the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula:

The plutonium reactor was shut down in 2007 as part of international nuclear disarmament talks that have since stalled. The declaration of a resumption of plutonium production -- the most common fuel in nuclear weapons -- and other facilities at the main Nyongbyon nuclear complex will boost fears in Washington and among its allies about North Korea's timetable for building a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the mainland U.S., technology it is not currently believed to have.

The announcement came as the near-daily saber rattling from the communist dictatorship continued, with new footage of North Korean troops firing at what appears to by target cutouts of U.S. soldiers. Pyongyang has previously released footage showing air strikes on American cities and last week released a photo of Kim Jong Un signing papers authorizing rockets to be aims at cities including Washington, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. The threats have been building since a new round of U.N. and U.S. sanctions followed North Korea's Feb. 12 underground nuclear test.

The U.S. has responded to the increasing threats from North Korea, sending F-22 stealth fighter jets to take part in war games with South Korea and, this week, dispatching the USS John S. McCain, a guided missile cruiser, to the region in what White House spokesman Jay Carney said was an effort to reduce the "chance of miscalculation and provocation" by Pyonyang. The McCain, named for both the father and grandfather of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is outfitted with 90 missiles, including Tomahawk and anti-aircraft and is one of the U.S. Navy's most powerful destroyers.

Restarting the reactor is potentially the boldest step yet by North Korea in the ongoing escalation. According to estimates from the Institute for Science and International Security from late 2012, North could have enough weapons grade uranium for 21-32 nuclear weapons by 2016 if it used one centrifuge at the plant to enrich uranium to weapons-grade. It was not clear how long it would take to restart the reactor, whose cooling tower was blown up in a made-for-TV event in 2008.


Posted in: 
Leave a Comment0

Today's Front Page Stories

Don't want to keep checking back here for the latest from Fox News? That's cool. We'll come to you ...

Connect with Fox News


Stay connected with the most-trusted name in cable news through exclusive videos, blogs, polls, contests and behind-the-scene details.

Get More Fox!

Greta Is Wired! is the official blog of Greta Van Susteren. Get Greta’s breaking news alerts, pictures, videos, polls, and behind-the-scenes exclusives. Plus, speak out on open threads, as well as the live chat page. Connect to the GretaWire community ... and to Greta herself!

Fox News Presents: 'My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck'

Fox News Channel presents an exciting new feature series, My America with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. From the quirky to the inspirational, "My America" reveals who we are as a nation – driven, passionate and uniquely American. Watch the latest installment, an up-close look at the beloved Oscar Mayer Wienermobile!