Analysis

North Korea’s Threat to Re-Start Nuke Plant Is a Bluff
June 27, 2008 screen shot from North Korean television of the 5-megawatt Yongbyon nuclear reactor which is believed to be the source of nuclear fuel used to construct North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Shortly after this photo was taken, the cooling tower shown was demolished as part of a North Korea-US agreement to 'disable' but not disassemble this reactor. (AP Photo/APTN, File)
April 2, 2013
| Security
| Asia and the Pacific
Summary
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SITUATION REPORT
 
North Korea made a predictable threat today to restart its disabled Yongbyon nuclear reactor in a bid to further ratchet up tensions and force concessions from the international community. LIGNET doubts North Korea will go through with rebuilding this reactor and believes its existing stockpile of up to 12 nuclear weapons is a more serious and immediate threat.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said today that the crisis with North Korea “has gone too far” and called for urgent talks with Pyongyang. 
 
The UN chief’s call came after more incidents appeared to raise tensions over the last 24 hours, including North Korea releasing a video showing North Korean soldiers shooting at targets of U.S. soldiers. North Korea’s announcement about Yongbyon may have been in response to a decision by the United States yesterday to station the USS McCain, an Aegis-class guided-missile destroyer used for ballistic missile defense, off South Korea’s southwestern coast.
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