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North Korea blows up reactor cooling tower

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North Korea blows up reactor cooling tower

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North Korea has destroyed the cooling tower at its plutonium-producing Yongbyon nuclear plant.

The move, watched by international TV crews, is a symbolic show of Pyongyang’s commitment to a disarmament-for-aid deal. It comes the day after the secretive state finally handed over a long-awaited account of its atomic activities.

North Korean nuclear officials oversaw today’s photo opportunity with a US State Department expert. Washington has cautiously welcomed the demolition and the handing over of the dossier. It is taking steps to remove North Korea from a terrorism blacklist – a move hailed by Pyongyang as a “positive measure.”

The blast was a strong symbol but perhaps little more. North Korea shut the Yongbyon reactor in July last year.