Seoul (dpa) – North Korea said Tuesday it had restarted operations at
its nuclear complex, reports said.

A uranium enrichment plant and a 5-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon
complex had been readjusted as part of many “innovations,” Yonhap
News Agency reported, quoting North Korea’s official KCNA news
agency.

Pyongyang has been “steadily improving the levels of nuclear weapons
with various missions in quality and quantity,” an unnamed director
of the North’s Atomic Energy Institute said, according to KCNA.

The announcement came amid speculation in Seoul over a possible
long-range missile launch on October 10 to mark the anniversary of
the founding of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party.

South Korea’s Defence Ministry said any such launch would be a
“serious provocation, a military threat and a violation of UN
resolutions,” Yonhap reported.

Pyongyang said Monday that it would launch an earth observation
satellite at a time of its choosing, and that “the world will clearly
see a series of satellites of Songun Korea soaring into the sky at
the times and locations determined by the WPK [Workers’ Party of
Korea] Central Committee.”

The nuclear announcement and speculation over a rocket launch has
ratcheted up tension once more between the two Koreas, which are
still technically at war after the Korean War of 1950-53.

In late August, the two neighbours agreed to defuse tensions in
emergency talks following a surge in incidents across their border,
including artillery firing, a landmine explosion and propaganda
broadcasts.