09/12/2013, 00.00
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Pyongyang reactivates its nuclear reactor

The satellite images show smoke coming from the Yongbyon complex , able to produce six pounds of plutonium a year . The regime , after a series of agreements with Seoul, holds fast to its militaristic aspirations. An expert : " Mixed signals , but it would take another six months for a nuclear weapon."

Seoul ( AsiaNews ) - The government of North Korea has authorized the resumption of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor , capable of producing about 6 kg of plutonium per year war . White smoke has been spotted spilling out from the smokestacks, a color and texture that has been identified as one that is issued by the complexes' steam turbines. This was stated by the website 38North , connected to the US- Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University after examining some recent satellite images.

Pyongyang had announced the intention to reactivate the reactor in April. It has a capacity of 5 megawatts and was shut down in 2007 as part of the agreements reached by the six-party talks on nuclear disarmament . In December of 2008, Pyongyang quit the talks - which includes the two Koreas, the U.S., China , Russia and Japan - and enacted a policy of aggression particularly  against Seoul, to the point that Beijing, a historical ally of the North, was forced to intervene to appease the warlike proclamations of the Kim regime .

However, following an escalation of military and diplomatic tension that brought the peninsula to the brink of war, the government in Pyongyang calmed the waters with a series of bilateral talks with Seoul. These have produced both the reopening of the inter-Korean industrial complex of Kaesong that the resumption of meetings between families separated by the war of 1950. Excluding any last minute hitches, both events are planned for next week.

Choi Jin Wook, a researcher with the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, commented to Daily NK earlier today, "For the manufacture of nuclear weapons at Yongbyon, they will have to run it for at least six months. Also, it is worn out so the problem of safety is still there. It shows that North Korea, quite unlike the conciliatory appearance they are showing to the outside, does not intend to abandon its nuclear capabilities."


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