N. Korea says uranium enrichment near

Sept. 3, 2009 at 7:53 PM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- North Korea said Friday it has reached the final phase in the process of enriching uranium used to make nuclear bombs, the country's official news agency said.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the Korean Central News Agency also reported North Korea is continuing to build nuclear weapons using spent fuel rods taken from its only operating plutonium-producing reactor.

"We've successfully done the experiment for enrichment of uranium and it has entered the final stage," Korean Central News Agency said. "We are also finalizing the reprocessing of the spent fuel rods and the plutonium extracted (from the reactor) are being weaponized."

Yonhap said the revelation follows questions from the United Nations' sanctions committee concerning the recent seizure of North Korean arms in waters off the United Arab Emirates.

The seizure was the first of a North Korean arms shipment under U.N. Resolution 1874, adopted after North Korea's second nuclear test on May 25.

North Korea said it has no need to respond to the committee's questions since it has already stated it will not recognize the resolution's validity.

The North Korean news agency said while Pyongyang opposes the so-called six-party negotiations, it still favors the denuclearization not only of the Korean Peninsula but of the world.

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