PYONGYANG, North Korea, July 6 (UPI) -- North Korea Friday denied media reports that the country under Kim Jong Il was trying to mass-produce nuclear bombs by using highly enriched uranium.
Two Japanese newspaper reports this week said Kim, who died in December 2011, told a U.S. scientist in 2010 a uranium enrichment plant in Pyongyang was not designed for civilian industry, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Japanese newspapers, citing documents leaked from the North's Workers' Party, reported that Kim said it was natural for uranium enrichment to be used in making bombs.
"It is a politically motivated plot to create a fresh atmosphere for ratcheting up international pressure on the [North] as the story is a totally groundless and sheer fabrication," North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary.
North Korea has repeatedly said it is producing low enriched uranium to try and solve the country's electricity problem, not highly enriched uranium, which is used to create weapons.