Korea: June 18, 2000


The Japanese newspaper Senkei Shimbun, citing a North Korean official who defected to China last year, said that North Korea has secretly been producing weapons grade uranium at a secret underground facility at Mount Chonma, near the Chinese border, since 1989 despite promises to the US that it would stop doing so in exchange for funding to build new power reactors. The defector said that work on the plant began in 1984 and that it was producing nuclear weapons by 1989. The plant reportedly employs 400 workers, some of them political prisoners who are forced to do the most dangerous parts of the work.--Stephen V Cole


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