N Korea Relaunches Nuke Plant
Country makes disclosure hours after UN sanctions announced
By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Apr 25, 2009 5:40 AM CDT
North Korea's spent nuclear fuel rods are kept in a cooling pond at the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, North Korea, in this 1996 file photo.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, File)
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(Newser) – North Korea has begun harvesting weapons-grade plutonium from its spent nuclear fuel rods, the BBC reports. The official announcement comes on the heels of UN sanctions against three North Korean companies accused of helping the country with its long-range rocket launch earlier this month. Pyongyang called the sanctions—which freeze the companies’ assets and prohibit other countries from trading with them—"a wanton violation of the UN charter.”