North Korea – a threat?

North Korea has been known to make threats against the US and South Korea in the past, so the news that its Yongbyon nuclear site is now back in operation could be quite a worrying sign. After being shut down in 2007, the site is now re-opening.

Plutonium (a radioactive and dangerous substance) has been produced by the reactor, to be used for the country’s nuclear weapons programme. It is thought that, if the reactor is used, it could make one bomb’s worth of plutonium a year (about 13 pounds) – a significant amount for a country which has threatened others with nuclear weapons in the past.

Although nobody is fully aware of North Korea’s plans or capabilities, there have been hints at the launch of a rocket in which a nuclear warhead could be fitted and launched at enemies. This is believed to be taking place as a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party on October 10th. While it has been said that the only intentions North Korea have for the use of a rocket are to put satellites into orbit, the other countries in question see this as a potential threat in disguise.