North Korea Claims It Will Restart Shuttered Nuclear Reactor 

North Korean regime claims it will restart and refurbish nuclear facilities, including the 5-megawatt Yongbyon reactor.

North Korea has said that it plans to restart the currently shuttered Yongbyon nuclear reactor, and plans to restart and refurbish every other nuclear facility in the nation as well — a move that will likely serve to further unnerve the DPRK's foes.

The KCNA news agency announced the plan on April 2nd, saying that North Korea would reopen shuttered facilities, including the 5-megawatt Yongbyon reactor, which closed in 2007.

Yongbyon served as a source of plutonium used for weapons, noted the BBC.

Authorities added the nuclear power would be used for both electric and military uses, as Kim Jong Un stressed that increasing North Korea's nuclear capacities would also increase its economic development.

China - the North's only major ally - said it regretted the announcement and called for all parties to remain calm amid rising tensions on the divided Korean peninsula.

"We have noticed the remarks of the DPRK and express our regret," said Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei. "We call on relevant parties to keep calm and exercise restraint."

On Sunday, the North reaffirmed its Songun (military first) policy, calling its nuclear arms a "treasure" and the "nation's life." Jong Un said his country would expand its arsenal both in “quality and quantity."

Also on Sunday, North Korea said it would not use its nuclear program as "a political bargaining chip," suggesting nuclear disarmament would not be part of any possible negotiations.

Tuesday's announcement follows North Korea's third nuclear bomb test in February, which was quickly met with international condemnation and UN sanctions.

In response to North Korea's continuing diplomatic feints, China has placed its troops on "highest alert" near its shared border, soon after Jong Un claimed that his country was now in a "state of war" with South Korea.

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