North Korea opened its controversial Yongbyon nuclear reactor to the foreign media yesterday, the first time the 5-megawatt plant at the core of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the target of international disarmament talks has been seen by journalists, ABC News reports. The visit seemed to be a sign the Communist government wants a disarmament-for-aid deal to proceed.
Journalists watched as workers in protective gear removed spent fuel rods from the reactor, a key to the deal with the US, Japan, China, Russia, and South Korea. The government has closed the Yongbyon cooling tower, effectively shutting down the reactor. Experts say the Koreans have created enough plutonium for a dozen bombs and exported weapons technology to Syria.