North Korea Restarts Nuclear Reactor

Alex Castillo , Copy Editor

Ahead of newly elected Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s visit to Eastern Asia, drones have spotted activity at one of North Korea’s abandoned nuclear reactor sites. Pictures from the satellites show a plume of water vapor being pushed into the air which signifies the operational status of the reactor.

 

The reactor is known to produce plutonium for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The activation of this reactor can prove to be bad news for the United States, as North Korea has recently stated that they are running tests on their intercontinental ballistic missiles.

 

The growth of North Korea’s weapons programs may affect the futures of students like Angel Martinez, 12, that plan to join the military after graduation.

 

“I want to join the Air Force,” Martinez said, “so I’m thinking after I get my training and stuff I’m probably gonna be sent over there to do like surveillance stuff.

 

Although it is unclear at what power level the reactor is running at, the U.S. military has decided to keep Mattis out of the general public with higher security and to keep a closer eye on the reactor. This reactor is also known for working with uranium for the nuclear bombs that North Korea has been testing throughout the year of 2016.

 

Earl Sung, 11, follows the news often and finds the development in North Korean technology slightly disturbing.

 

“It’s weird because people always kinda joke about them and how America is stronger than them and everything,” Sung said, “but we still need to be careful I think because you really never know.”

 

Despite international sanctions, North Korea has continued to maintain a nuclear weapons program. Emiliano Cortez, 10, believes that it might be time to get tougher with the country.

 

“Well, yeah because North Korea keeps trying to threaten us,” Cortez said. “Now that we have a new president it’s kind of scary because he doesn’t have any experience but hopefully we can really show them that they’re doing the wrong things and hopefully fix it.”

 
Secretary of Defense Mattis still plans to go through with his trip, as a sign of diplomacy and good will to allies Japan and South Korea.