N. Korea Blows Up Nuclear Tower

Move both symbolic and practical, since tower would take year to rebuild
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2008 6:52 AM CDT
N. Korea Blows Up Nuclear Tower
This image from television shows the demolition of the 60-foot-tall cooling tower at its main reactor complex in Yongbyon North Korea Friday June 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/APTN)

North Korea demolished the biggest symbol of its nuclear program today, destroying the water tower of its Yongbyon plutonium facility, which had been used to extract plutonium to build nuclear weapons until it was decommissioned last year. But the huge implosion wasn’t just symbolic—the tower would take at least a year to rebuild, and without it the facility is useless.

The demolition comes a day after North Korea’s celebrated declaration of its plutonium capabilities. President Bush then asked Congress to remove the rogue nation from the State Sponsors of Terror list, though he cautioned that the US “has no illusions about the regime in Pyongyang.” (More North Korea stories.)

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