North Korea says it has restarted nuclear facilities

North Korea has restarted its nuclear facilities to harvest weapons-grade plutonium, an official said Saturday, in an escalation of the communist state's standoff with the international community over its nuclear and missile programs. The announcement came hours after a UN Security Council committee approved new sanctions on three major North Korean companies in response to Pyongyang's April 5 rocket launch. "The reprocessing of spent fuel rods from the pilot atomic power plant began," the North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said in comments carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.