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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Pyongyang improving nuclear weapons in 'quality and quantity'

Iran Press TV

Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:14AM

North Korea says its major nuclear facility is in full operation and that Pyongyang is working to improve its nuclear weapons "in quality and quantity."

"All the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon [Nuclear Scientific Research Center], including the uranium enrichment plant and five-megawatt reactor were rearranged, changed or readjusted and they started normal operation," the director of the North's Atomic Energy Institute told the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Tuesday.

The North Korean official, whose name was not mentioned in the report, said his country is fully ready to cope with US hostility with "nuclear weapons any time."

In case Washington "continues its reckless hostile policy" towards North Korea, then Pyongyang will be ready to respond with nuclear force, said the official.

North Korea has already started to operate a nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center.

On Monday, North Korea's National Aerospace Development Administration said it had almost completed developing a new earth observation satellite for weather forecasts.

"The world will clearly see a series of satellites of Korea soaring into the sky at times and locations determined by the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea," a statement from the administration read.

However, South Korea says these satellites may be long-range rockets, which could pose a threat to the region.

North Korea is under UN sanctions over launching ballistic missiles considered by the West as being aimed at delivering nuclear warheads.

Pyongyang says its missile tests, slammed mainly by the US and South Korea, seek to boost defense capabilities in the face of enemy threats.

Last month, tensions escalated on the Korean Peninsula, when South and North exchanged fire over the South's propaganda loud speakers installed at the border. Pyongyang demanded they be removed.

A military confrontation seemed inevitable with military build-ups along the border. However, tensions were quickly diffused when the two sides held negotiations to address differences in late August.

Tensions between the two Koreas run high over the South's annual war games with the US, with Pyongyang censuring the military drills as provocative rehearsals for invasion.

North and South Korea remain technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace deal.

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