Northern Korean nuclear plant is 'a provocation', says US
Tuesday 23 November 2010
The US special envoy for North Korea said Pyongyang's claim of a new uranium enrichment facility is provocative and disappointing but not a crisis or a surprise. Washington, he vowed, will keep working with its regional partners in response.
Stephen Bosworth's comments after a meeting with Kim Sung-hwan, the South Korean Foreign Minister, came as the US and the North's neighbours assessed Pyongyang's revelation to a US nuclear scientist of a highly sophisticated modern enrichment operation with what the North says are 2,000 centrifuges.
"This is obviously a disappointing announcement. It is also another in a series of provocative moves," Mr Bosworth said. "That said, this is not a crisis. We are not surprised. We have been analysing the [North's] aspirations to produce enriched uranium."
Mr Kim also played down the facility, telling reporters: "It's nothing new."
The American scientist, Siegfried Hecker, reported that during a trip to the North's main Yongbyon atomic complex, he was taken to an industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility. US military officials warned it could speed up the North's ability to make and deliver viable nuclear weapons. South Korea's Defence Minister said Seoul will discuss the US moving nuclear weapons back into the country.
Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, said the facility could enable North Korea to build "a number" of nuclear devices beyond the handful it is presumed to have assembled.
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks, Raisa and a new twist in the saga of a horse fit for a Prime Minister
Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll now exceeds 500 – but Israel fights on
Income tax league: Revealed - the UK towns where people pay the most and least tax
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire