North Korea Boasts About Nuke Plant

Pyongyang unveils details of 'peaceful' nuclear program
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2010 3:48 AM CST
Thousands of North Koreans turn colored cards to form the symbol for the atom during a "mass games" performance at a stadium in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

(Newser) – With tensions high on the Korean peninsula, North Korea has decided now would be a good time to let the world know that its nuclear program is going swimmingly. Pyongyang officials, offering the first details on what it says is a peaceful nuclear program, boasted that North Korea is building a reactor and "operating a modern uranium enrichment system with many thousands of centrifuges" at its Yongbyon complex, the BBC reports.

Analysts say the boasts of nuclear prowess are in line with Pyongyang's standard pattern of behavior. "For the last two years, both Washington and Seoul have tried to ignore them, so now they use both artillery and centrifuges to say: 'We are here, we are dangerous, and we cannot be ignored. We can make a lot of trouble, but also we behave reasonably if rewarded generously enough,'" a North Korea expert tells Reuters. Documents in the just-released WikiLeaks trove reveal that Chinese officials are fed up with "spoiled child" North Korea and are ready to push for Korean reunification, reports the Guardian.

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