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Is North Korea trying to extract plutonium?

The recent satellite photos indicated that North Korea may be trying to extract plutonium to make more nuclear weapons at its main complex. This comes after the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to expand his nuclear arsenal. 

The 38 North websites, which specializes in the study of North Korea, said the imagery indicating that a coal-fired steam plant at the North’s Yongbyon nuclear complex is in operation after about a two-year hiatus. Smoke was observed spewing from the plant on various occasions from last February and early March. 

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear activities remain a cause for serious concern. The continuation of the DPRK’s nuclear program is a clear violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and is deeply regrettable,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi told the IAEA’s board of governors. 

Plutonium is one of the two key ingredients to building nuclear weapons along with highly enriched uranium.   

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