Feature

Nuclear backtrack

The week's news at a glance.

Yongbyon, North Korea

Contradicting previous claims, North Korea said this week that it did not possess nuclear weapons. An unofficial delegation of U.S. experts visited North Korea’s nuclear reactor at Yongbyon last week, where it saw what the North Koreans said was recently reprocessed plutonium. No Westerners had visited the Yongbyon site since Pyongyang kicked out U.N. inspectors in December 2002 and threatened to begin reprocessing spent fuel rods into weapons-grade plutonium. Pyongyang said it had now shown the Americans its entire “nuclear deterrent force,” which included neither a warhead nor a uranium-enrichment program. But U.S. and South Korean intelligence believe that the totalitarian country has a sophisticated and active program to enrich uranium.

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