News & Politics

North Korea Restarts Weapons-Grade Yongbyon Nuclear Reactor Halted Under Trump

Yongbyon Nuclear Reactor.

North Korea apparently has restarted the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium, that had been shuttered since 2018.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that “since early July, there have been indications, including the discharge of cooling water, consistent with the operation of the reactor,” according to a report late Sunday in the Wall Street Journal.

The IAEA called the move “deeply troubling,” and in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Yahoo! News reminded readers on Monday:

In 2019, North Korea said it would shutter the Yongbyon reactor and additional facilities if the United States provided sanctions relief, but the offer was rejected by then-President Donald Trump, who said it didn’t go far enough.

That was two years ago. Apparently, under Presidentish Joe Biden, North Korea feels freer to re-start its nuclear weapons program.

I’m far from the only one saying so.

Still reeling from the ongoing deadly chaos he set loose in Afghanistan, Biden has been accused of giving North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un a “blank cheque to rebuild North Korea nuclear programme.”

That’s according to Dutch European Parliament Member Michiel Hoogeveen, who “fears Mr Biden’s administration is guilty of a failure to understand the North Korean mindset which could increase the risk of future conflict.”

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You have to wonder if South Korea, currently led by center-left President Moon Jae-in, was aware of what was going on at Yongbyon before scheduling this week’s meeting with US officials on increasing “humanitarian cooperation” with the North.

One doesn’t simply restart a nuclear weapons program overnight, so it’s likely that the North Koreans have been working to do so since long before Biden’s botched bugout—but after last year’s election results were known.

Whether it’s the Taliban blitzing through Kabul, North Korea’s nukes, China’s newly aggressive anti-American propaganda, or the rebirth of ISIS, America’s enemies sense weakness in the White House.

Where we’ll be tested next is anyone’s guess.