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North Korea says it has thousands of nuclear centrifuges

By the CNN Wire Staff
A S. Korean commuter watches Kim Jong Un, son of the N. Korean leader Kim Jong Il, on TV,  October 10, 2010.
A S. Korean commuter watches Kim Jong Un, son of the N. Korean leader Kim Jong Il, on TV, October 10, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • North Korea says it is producing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes
  • The nuclear claim comes a week after the North shelled a South Korean island
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(CNN) -- North Korea claimed Tuesday that it is has "thousands of centrifuges" working to create nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The claim printed in North Korea's state-run KCNA news service comes just a week after North Korean shelled a South Korean Island killing four people.

"The construction of light water reactor is brisk in the DPRK and a modern factory for uranium enrichment equipped with thousands of centrifuges is operating to supply fuel to them. The development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes to meet the need for electricity will be stepped up in the future," the news service report said.

The North Korean news service report seemed to confirm parts of a statement made last week by Siegfried Hecker, a Stanford University scientist.

In early Novermber, the U.S. scientist said he visited a North Korean nuclear facility at the invitation of the government, which included 2,000 centrifuges, that was producing low-enriched uranium.

Hecker said he was told that facility was configured to produce low-enriched uranium but Hecker wrote that it could "be readily converted to produce highly-enriched uranium (HEU) bomb fuel.

 
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