Following a claimed hydrogen bomb test last month, and Sunday’s satellite launch, North Korea has reportedly restarted their plutonium reactor. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, announced:
“We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the plutonium production reactor. We further assess that North Korea has been operating the reactor long enough so that it could begin to recover plutonium from the reactor’s spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months.”
Plutonium reactors are used to manufacture weapon’s grade nuclear material that can be mounted on a missile. The reactor was shut down previously in 2007.
Clapper continued, saying that North Korea is “committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States. We assess that North Korea has already taken initial steps toward fielding this system, although the system has not been flight-tested.”
In order to keep the peace in the region, it is the international community’s responsibility to demand that North Korea cease the advancement of its nuclear capability. Further, China must be held accountable for suppling the rogue state with the resources it is using to further its agenda.