US intelligence: North Korea expanding uranium-enrichment complex

Photo: US intelligence: North Korea expanding uranium-enrichment complex / Other News

North Korea is expanding its nuclear facilities, US National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a congressional committee Wednesday in a report on threat assessments worldwide, dpa reported.

The Pyongyang regime had vowed last year to make changes to its existing nuclear facilities, including a uranium-enrichment facility at Yongbyon and a plutonium-producing reactor that had been closed since 2007.

"We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding the size of its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the reactor that was previously used for plutonium production," Clapper wrote in a report delivered to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

The report found that North Korea "has already taken initial steps" toward fielding its still untested road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system.

"North Korea is committed to developing long-range missile technology that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States," the report said. "Its efforts to produce and market ballistic missiles raise broader regional and global security concerns."

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