PYONGYANG, North Korea, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- North Korea is making progress both in low enriched uranium and construction of a light water reactor, its foreign ministry said Wednesday.
The announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, proceeding to Myanmar for an official visit, stopped in South Korea's Busan city, where she told reporters North Korea should take concrete steps toward denuclearization.
North Korea's official news agency KCNA quoted its foreign ministry spokesman as saying the activities are for peaceful purposes.
"The construction of experimental LWR and the low enriched uranium for the provision of raw materials are progressing apace … ," said the report, carried by China's Xinhua news agency.
The spokesman said peaceful use of nuclear energy is the legitimate right of a sovereign state under international law.
He said concerns should be addressed through the six-party talks and called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to verify North Korea's intentions.
The six-party talks begun in 2003 among the two Koreas, Japan, China, Russia and the United States for North Korea's nuclear disarmament are currently stalled. Lately, the North has said it is ready to resume the talks without preconditions.
The latest North Korean announcement could have an impact diplomatic efforts to resume the talks, Yonhap news agency said.
South Korea and the United States want the North to first demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization by closing its uranium enrichment plant before talks can resume.
In Busan, Clinton said: "The United States stands with our ally and we look to North Korea to take concrete steps that promote peace and stability and denuclearization."