North Korea steps up threats

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
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North Korea is threatening to attack American fighter jets in retaliation to sanctions from the United States and United Nations. The country also plans to restart a nuclear reactor that could create more fuel for nuclear weapons.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula continue to climb. North Korea announced Tuesday that it is reopening a closed nuclear plant in order to produce material for weapons.

This is yet another escalation in an already tense situation. North Korea said it would re-open closed nuclear facilities, in particular one in Yongbyon.

That contains two locations, one a five-megawatt reactor, the other a uranium enrichment plant capable of producing about enough plutonium to produce one nuclear bomb a year.

The plant at Yongbyon had been closed in 2007 as part of international negotiations and to build trust in that process the cooling tower there had been destroyed.

Pyongyang now says it will rebuild the facility, it's unclear how long it will take before it is up and running.

South Korea is very concerned about what is going on in the North, the South Korea government has said it will respond to any aggression from the North with force of its own.

"The current crisis has already gone too far. Nuclear threats are not a game. Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counter-actions, and fuel fear and instability," said Ban Ki-Moon, UN secretary general.

Now Pyongyang says it needs these facilities to produce some electricity and also to improve the quantity and quality of its nuclear stockpile. However, the Yongbyon plant is not connected to the national power grid and never was.