N. Korea: Plans to beef up nuclear facilities

December 20, 2005 08:39


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North Korea said Tuesday it would beef up its nuclear facilities to meet energy demands after the US scrapped a project to provide it with power-generating reactors amid the standoff over the North's weapons program. The US decision to halt construction on light-water nuclear reactors "compels (the North) to develop in real earnest its independent nuclear power industry based on 50,000 kilowatt and 200,000 kilowatt GMRs (graphite-moderated reactors) and their related facilities," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said. The facilities - located mostly at the communist country's main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Pyongyang - have been a focus of international suspicions over the North's pursuit of nuclear bombs. North Korea didn't elaborate on other nuclear "facilities," but it also has a 5-megawatt reactor that has been used in the past to generate plutonium for the country's weapons program.

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