North Korea has announced that it has begun the ‘last phase’ in the process of enriching uranium to build nuclear weapons. At the same time, the North Korean communist regime said it is also into the parallel process of extracting plutonium from the nuclear fuel rods stored at its Yongbyon reactor. The North Korean delegation at the UN in a letter to the Security Council admitted that the extracted plutonium will become weapons.
The world was not entirely surprised with these revelations even if, for years, the regime of Kim Jong-il denied having a uranium enrichment program that would allow a nuclear bomb.
Given the continuing U.S. suspicions about its uranium enrichment process, Pyongyang has always acknowledged progress in extracting plutonium, a process found to be easier and cheaper, and for which North Korea conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
North Korea has also been dangling the proposition to have its critics level it with either sanctions or dialogue. It even said that it is ready and willing to get into diplomatic negotiations with the United States. It seems that North Korea is showing signs of wanting bilateral dialogue with the United States. The country has also eased tensions with South Korea through the normalization of the activity on the border between the two countries, after months of tension.
Much ado about all things nuclear.
All these media space about the nuclearization of North Korea is free advertising for the country that is known as a huge seller of nuclear technology. North Korea has long embarked on nuclear technology proliferation to terrorist-supporting states. All this talk about a nuclearized North Korea is very good for nuclear marketing.