N. Korea resurrects nuclear production

Nov. 21, 2010 at 7:17 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A report that North Korea has returned to enriching uranium prompted the United States to send a delegation to South Korea Sunday, officials said.

The news broke Saturday when Stanford University Professor Siegfried Hecker posted online his observations of the facility he visited Nov. 12, CNN reported.

The U.S. State Department dispatched a team to Seoul to investigate, officials said. Led by Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, the team is also scheduled to meet with leaders in Tokyo and Beijing in coming days, the report said.

Hecker said it appeared the uranium enrichment being done with 2,000 centrifuges was for nuclear power production and not for manufacturing weapons, although the facility "could be readily converted to produce highly-enriched uranium bomb fuel."

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said despite North Korea's highly publicized destruction of a nuclear facility in June 2008, U.S. officials have been wary of a return to nuclear proliferation there, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

"North Korea has made a commitment to denuclearize, and we expect North Korea to live up to its commitments," Crowley said.

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