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Defense Minister: NK Restoring Main Nuke Facility
OCTOBER 05, 2010 13:26  
North Korea is restoring its main nuclear facility in Yongbyon, where the cooling tower had been demolished, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said Monday.

밡orth Korea has been reconstructing nuclear facilities and maintaining facilities in Yongbyon, Kim told a parliamentary audit of his ministry in Seoul뭩 Yongsan district. 밫he North is building new buildings in the region of the second reactor and conducting a massive excavation.

Seoul based its confirmation of the restoration on data from the Institute for Science and International Security, a U.S.-based global security think tank which reported new construction at the nuclear facility.

밡orth Korea is building two rectangular buildings next to the cooling tower that was demolished in 2008, a source from the South Korean government said. 밫he new buildings seem to be general buildings and not a cooling tower, but it remains to be seen what their purpose will be.

밪ince Yongbyon is not a place for a nuclear test, it`s hard to say if North Korea is preparing for a nuclear test, but what is certain is that it hasn`t suspended nuclear-related activities, the source added. 밫he government has been monitoring North Korea뭩 nuclear-related activities.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Park Kil Yon said in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York Wednesday, 밢ur nuclear deterrence can never be given up and we will rather strengthen it.

The cooling tower for the five-megawatt nuclear reactor was destroyed in June 2008 under an agreement reached at the six-party nuclear talks in 2007. With the U.N. Security Council saying the North뭩 launch of a long-range missile violated U.N. Resolution 1718 and releasing a statement critical of the North, Pyongyang declared a suspension to the Yongbyon facility뭩 disablement and a restoration of the facility.

밡orth Korea is likely to conduct a joint tactical drill in the presence of Kim Jong Il before the 65th anniversary of the Workers Party Oct. 10, Minister Kim said in the audit. 밒t is preparing a large-scale joint drill of its armed forces off the coast of Wonsan.

He also said Pyongyang is likely to attempt another provocation ahead of the November G20 summit in Seoul.

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