Envoy: N. Korean nuclear claim not a surprise

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea said today that Pyongyang’s claim of a secret new uranium- enrichment facility is provocative and disappointing but not a crisis or a surprise.

Stephen Bosworth’s comments, after a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, came as the United States and the North’s neighbors scrambled to come to terms with Pyongyang’s revelation to a visiting American nuclear scientist of what has been described as 2,000 recently completed centrifuges.

“This is obviously a disappointing announcement. It is also another in a series of provocative moves” by North Korea, Bosworth said. “That being said, this is not a crisis. We are not surprised by this. We have been watching and analyzing the [North’s] aspirations to produce enriched uranium for some time.”

The American scientist, Siegfried Hecker, said in a report that he was taken during a recent trip to the North’s main Yongbyon atomic complex to a small, highly sophisticated, industrial-scale uranium- enrichment facility.

Hecker is a former director of the U.S. Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory who is regularly given rare glimpses of the North’s secretive nuclear program.

More like this from vindy.com

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.