North Korea vows to restart nuclear reactor that has been shut down since 2007

Kim Jong Un says reactor will act as deterrent


North Korea is back with more threats. This time, the country says it is ready to restart a nuclear reactor that hasn’t been operational since 2007.

Don’t worry, though, state-owned KCNA news agency said the nuclear reactor will be used for electrical and military purposes, but will only be a deterrent against potential aggressive action from other nations, reports Reuters.

Leader Kim Jong Un emphasized the deterrence angle during a speech he made Sunday, which was published in full on Tuesday. “Our nuclear strength is a reliable war deterrent and a guarantee to protect our sovereignty,” he said. “It is on the basis of a strong nuclear strength that peace and prosperity can exist and so can the happiness of people’s lives.”

This emphasis that North Korea only wants to use the nuclear reactor as a deterrent is hardly reassuring after the country has ramped up aggressive rhetoric in the past weeks. To recap, some of these threats include leader Kim telling troops positioned near the South Korean border that they should be ready “to annihilate the enemy,” threatened attacks on U.S. military bases in the Pacific, and propaganda images that show North Korean missile paths aimed for Hawaii, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and — strangely — Austin, Texas.

For a full list of North Korean threats, Foreign Policy is keeping a running tally over here.

North Korea’s latest nuclear ambitions come after a third nuclear test in February, one that drew international condemnation and lead the UN Security Council to place even tighter sanctions on the nation.

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