US: Restarting NKorea reactor would be 'alarming'

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 12:40 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says it would "extremely alarming" if North Korea were to restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said it would be in clear violation of Pyongyang's international commitments. But Nuland added there was "a long way to go" between the North stating an intention and following through on it.

She reiterated the U.S. would not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.

A spokesman for the North's General Department of Atomic Energy said Tuesday scientists will quickly begin "readjusting and restarting" the facilities at its main Nyongbyon nuclear complex, including the plutonium reactor and a uranium enrichment plant. Both could produce fuel for nuclear weapons. Nuland was speaking ahead of a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

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