North Korea Restarts Nuclear Reactor That Was Shut Down More Than Five Years Ago

The situation in North Korea is getting worse by the day as the country announced that it will restart a nuclear reactor that had been shut down more than five years ago.

This move proves that the country’s young leader, Kim Jong-Un, has no interest in shutting down North Korea’s nuclear weapons program that many have tried to persuade him into stopping.

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The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the reclusive state's atomic energy department intends to "readjust and restart all the nuclear facilities" at its main nuclear complex, in Yongbyon.

Those facilities include a uranium enrichment facility and a reactor that was "mothballed and disabled" under an agreement reached in October 2007 during talks among North Korea, the United States and four other nations, KCNA said.

The announcement was followed by a plea for calm from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is himself South Korean. He said he was "deeply troubled."

"The current crisis has already gone too far," he said in a statement from Andorra. "Nuclear threats are not a game. Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counter-actions, and fuel fear and instability.

"Things must begin to calm down, as this situation, made worse by the lack of communication, could lead down a path that nobody should want to follow."

Ban said dialogue and negotiations are "the only way to resolve the current crisis."

"It's yet another escalation in this ongoing crisis," said Ramesh Thakur, director of the Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament at Australian National University in Canberra.

The tensions on the Korean Peninsula have led Pyongyang to sever a key military hotline with Seoul and declare void the 1953 armistice that stopped the Korean War.

The United States has made a show of its military strength amid annual training exercises with South Korea, flying B-2 stealth bombers capable of carrying conventional or nuclear weapons, Cold War-era B-52s and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters over South Korea.

On Monday, Seoul warned that any provocative moves from North Korea would trigger a strong response "without any political considerations."

Speechless.