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Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 18:23

DPRK claims nuclear fuel plants restarted

By Agencies
DPRK claims nuclear fuel plants restarted

This undated picture released by DPRK official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 3, 2015 shows DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un (center ) inspecting the newly-built General Satellite Control and Command Centre of the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) at an undisclosed location in DPRK . ( AFP PHOTO)

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) says it has revamped and restarted all its atomic bomb fuel production plants.

The declaration in state media follows Pyongyang's warning Monday it is ready to launch satellites aboard long-range rockets to mark a key national anniversary next month, a move expected to rekindle animosities with its rivals the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States.

Pyongyang said its main nuclear complex, which has been the source of fissile material used in the country's atomic weapons programme, was in full operation and said it was working to improve its nuclear weapons "in quality and quantity."

The director of DPRK's Atomic Energy Institute said in comments carried by the official KCNA news agency the country was fully ready to cope with US hostility with "nuclear weapons any time."

A National Aerospace Development Administration director said DPRK has been making "shining achievements" in the space development field ahead of the 70th birthday of the Workers' Party, saying scientists and technicians are pushing forward on a final development phase for a new earth observation satellite for weather forecasts.

"Space development for peaceful purposes is a sovereign state's legitimate right ... and the people of (DPRK) are fully determined to exercise this right no matter what others may say about it," the director told Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency. The world will "clearly see a series of satellites soaring into the sky at times and locations determined" by the Workers' Party.

ROK's foreign ministry responded by saying Tuesday that it would make a rapid and effective response to the possible launch via the UN Security Council.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il said at a press briefing that the DPRK's launch of any ballistic missile would be a grave act of provocation and military threat in violation of the UN Security Council's resolutions that ban the DPRK from using any ballistic missile technology.

China on Tuesday urged the DPRK to safeguard stability in the Korean Peninsula.

"We hope that under the current circumstances, the party concerned will do more that helps safeguard peace and stability of the peninsula and the region," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei at a daily press briefing.

Hong said China had always pushed for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and had supported its peace and stability.

"China's position on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is consistence and clear. We call for dialogue and negotiation to solve it," he said.

The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 US troops are stationed in ROK as deterrence against potential aggression from DPRK.

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