Do you get the feeling that North Korea is not going to go away anytime soon and won’t go quietly?
SEOUL (Reuters) –said on Thursday that if the international community punishes it for next month’s planned missile launch it will restart a nuclear plant that makes weapons grade plutonium.
The secretive state this week put a long-range missile in place for a launch the United States warned would violate U.N. sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for past weapons tests.
The planned launch, seen by some countries as a disguised military exercise, is the first big test for U.S. President Barack Obama in dealing with the prickly North, whose efforts to build a nuclear arsenal have long plagued ties with Washington.
North Korea warned that any action by the U.N. Security Council to punish it would be a “hostile act.”
” … All the processes for the denuclearization of the… will be brought back to what used to be before their start and necessary strong measures will be taken,” the North’s foreign ministry spokesman said in comments carried by the official KCNA news agency.
North Korea has frozen its aging nuclear reactor and started to take apart its Yongbyon atomic plant under a deal signed by regional powers in 2005 that called for economic aid and better diplomatic standing for the isolated North in return. Despite the agreement, the North carried out a nuclear test in 2006.
The South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo quoted a diplomatic source as saying the North could fire its Taepodong-2 missile, which has the range to hit U.S. territory, by the weekend.
This is earlier than the April 4-8 timeframe Pyongyang announced for what it says is the launch of a satellite.
“Technically a launch is possible within three to four days,” the Seoul as saying.quoted a diplomatic source in
Musudan Ri, North Korea, formally know as Taepo-dong missile launch facility, the area where North Korea rocket launch facility is located is seen in this QuickBird satellite image by DigitalGlobe taken on March 23, 2009. North Korea has positioned what is believed to be a long-range ballistic missile on a launch pad in what could be a preparation for launch, a U.S. counterproliferation official said March 25, 2009. REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout