North Korea Restores Nuclear Plant, South Korea
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North Korea Restores Nuclear Plant, South Korea

Suwŏn : South Korea | Sep 03, 2008 at 7:30 PM PDT
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Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea has begun to reassemble its Yongbyon reactor, South Korea said, a week after the communist nation announced that it stopped disabling the nuclear plant where it produced weapons-grade plutonium. South Korea's Foreign Ministry said it was ``gravely concerned'' as the work put back the ``process of denuclearization'' and six-nation talks aimed at scrapping Kim Jong-Il's atomic weapons program. U.S. State

Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington the ``North Koreans are moving some equipment around that they had previously put into storage.'' Kim's regime said last month that it stopped disabling Yongbyon on Aug. 14 after the U.S. failed to remove it from a list of state sponsors of terrorism. North Korea hasn't commented on whether it has started reassembling the plant. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is sending envoy Christopher Hill to Beijing today to discuss North Korea's delay in agreeing a mechanism to verify the extent of its nuclear program, McCormack said. Hill, who is assistant secretary of state and chief negotiator to the six-nation talks, will arrive in Beijing tomorrow, accompanied by Ambassador Sung Kim, who heads the State Department's office on Korean affairs. U.S. Monitors U.S. and International Atomic Energy Agency monitors are on the scene at Yongbyon, McCormack added. North Korea agreed to disable the five-megawatt reactor at six-party talks with the U.S., South Korea, China, Japan and Russia last October. It blew up a cooling tower located next to the reactor in June. The regime submitted an inventory of its nuclear materials and programs at the end of June, prompting President George W. Bush to give a minimum 45-day notice period to Congress that he intends to remove the nation from the terrorism list. The earliest deadline passed on Aug. 11. The Bush administration says the regime will stay on the terrorism blacklist until a mechanism is in place to verify its nuclear dossier

politicaljunkie is based in Belleville, Michigan, United States of America, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
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