North Korea looks to 'bolster nuclear deterrance'

North Korea said it has begun to reprocess spent fuel rods from its nuclear power plant.

The move would allow the communist country to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

The Foreign Ministry said today that the development “will contribute to bolstering the nuclear deterrence for self-defence in every way to cope with the increasing military threats from the hostile forces”.

The announcement came amid no signs of diplomatic breakthrough to bring Pyongyang back to nuclear negotiations.

North Korea has expelled international nuclear monitors, vowed to restart its atomic programme and quit disarmament negotiations to protest against the UN Security Council condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch.

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