N Korea boasts success in nuclear fusion
North Korea announced Wednesday it has successfully carried out a nuclear fusion reaction in what it called a breakthrough towards developing new energy sources.
Seoul: North Korea announced Wednesday it has successfully carried out a nuclear fusion reaction in what it called a breakthrough towards developing new energy sources.
The report in Rodong Sinmun, newspaper of the ruling communist party, made no mention of using the claimed new technology for the North`s atomic weapons programme.
Nuclear fusion reactions can be employed to make hydrogen bombs.
"The successful nuclear fusion marks a great event that demonstrated the rapidly developing cutting-edge science and technology of the DPRK (North Korea)," the paper said.
It said scientists worldwide were studying nuclear fusion as a way of obtaining "safe and environment-friendly new energy" but the North`s experts had worked hard to develop the technology their own way.
As part of the process, "Korean style thermonuclear reaction devices were designed and manufactured, basic researches into nuclear fusion reaction completed and strong scientific and technological forces built to perfect the thermonuclear technology by their own efforts".
Scientists worldwide are striving to develop a nuclear fusion power plant that would produce little radioactive waste.
The International Atomic Energy Agency website describes the building of such plants as "a great challenge" involving scientists in many member states.
Rodong Sinmun said the North had "made a definite breakthrough toward the development of new energy and opened up a new phase in the nation`s development of the latest science and technology".
The North has for decades had a nuclear weapons programme based on plutonium produced from spent fuel at its Yongbyon reactor. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has estimated it has up to six atomic weapons.
Last September the North announced for the first time that it had reached the final stage of enriching uranium, a second way of making nuclear bombs.
And in March it said it would build a light water nuclear power plant "in the near future", relying on indigenously-produced fuel.
Six-nation talks aimed at shutting down the North`s nuclear programmes have been stalled since December 2008. In April last year the North announced it was quitting the forum.
It staged its second atomic weapons test the following month, incurring tougher United Nations sanctions.
On a rare visit to China last week, leader Kim Jong-Il pledged to try to revive the stalled nuclear disarmament talks but made no firm commitment to return to dialogue.
Kim, at a meeting with President Hu Jintao, said his country "will work with China to create favourable conditions for restarting the six-party talks", Xinhua news agency reported.
The talks group the two Koreas, China, Russia, the United States and Japan.