North Korean officials banned international‚ inspectors from a Pyongyang‚ nuclear plant which is said to restart production in a week, according to Reuters.
Actual restart at full‚ capacity‚ would take several months, but they will begin the process next week.
The nuclear processing plant produces weapons-grade plutonium and has been closed since last November.
The announcement comes days after Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency removed all surveillance equipment from the then-closed‚ plant.‚
The move is a serious setback‚ against international efforts to disarm a‚ nuclear North Korea.‚ Estimates say that the plant could help North‚ Korea to‚ produce anywhere from six to 10 nuclear bombs.
The White House issued a statement calling the surveillance shutdown “very disappointing.”
I think it’s a little disturbing that right after surveillance was removed, they decided to refuse entry to international inspectors.‚
It’s tough to label it as a threat, but it is a definitely a step backward in efforts to monitor North Korea’s nuclear assets‚ and in a sense protect and ease the mind of the‚ millions of global citizens‚ who worry‚ about‚ North Korea’s‚ nuclear status.
The six-party denuclearization talks include the U.S., Russia, Japan, China, South‚ Korea‚ and North Korea.‚ All of these nations are said to have nuclear weapons except Japan, however their proximity to North Korea is‚ probably why they are such a huge part of the‚ negotiations.‚
The U.S. and Japan aimed at normalizing relations with North Korea, which was supposedly on track, until this occurrence.
In 1998,‚ North Korea fired a test missle over Japanese territory, something that didn’t go over too well with Japanese authorities.