Korea: January 31, 2003

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US recon satellites have detected movement around the North Korean nuclear reactor compound, indicating that fuel rods are being moved so they can be turned into weapons grade plutonium. The spent fuel rods from a nuclear power plant can be converted to weapons grade material. The 1994 treaty was to have stopped this process and the US has warned the North of "grave consequences" if it tried to build nuclear weapons. It is feared that if the North got nuclear weapons, they would sell them and use them to extort more money and goods out of South Korea and Japan. The north says it will only agree to a new treaty if it gets a non-aggression promise from the United States. The north apparently knows that it is acting like an outlaw and is increasingly fearful of being shut down by the United States. However, North Korea has a spotty track record in keeping agreements, whether they be economic or political. 

 

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