FILE - In this June 27, 2008 file photo from television, the 60-foot-tall cooling tower is seen before its demolition at the main Nyongbyon reactor complex in Nyongbyon, also known as Yongbyon, North Korea. North Korea vowed Tuesday, April 2, 2013, to restart a nuclear reactor that can make one bomb's worth of plutonium a year, escalating tensions already raised by near daily warlike threats against the United States and South Korea. The North's plutonium reactor was shut down in 2007 as part of international nuclear disarmament talks that have since stalled. The declaration of a resumption of plutonium production � the most common fuel in nuclear weapons � and other facilities at the main Nyongbyon nuclear complex will boost fears in Washington and among its allies about North Korea's timetable for building a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the United States, technology it is not currently believed to have. (AP Photo/APTN, File)
The U.S. says it would "extremely alarming" if North Korea were to restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said it would be in clear violation of Pyongyang's international commitments. But Nuland added there was "a long way to go" between the North stating an intention and following through on it.
She reiterated the U.S. would not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.
A spokesman for the North's General Department of Atomic Energy said Tuesday scientists will quickly begin "readjusting and restarting" the facilities at its main Nyongbyon nuclear complex, including the plutonium reactor and a uranium enrichment plant. Both could produce fuel for nuclear weapons. Nuland was speaking ahead of a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.
The U.N. chief says he fears North Korea is on a collision course with other nations that could lead to war.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the isolated Asian nation appears to be "on a collision course with the international community" amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said Tuesday in Andorra "the current crisis has already gone too far" because of escalating tensions raised by North Korea's threats of war almost daily against the United States and South Korea.
He said international negotiations are urgently needed but he is "convinced that no one intends to attack" North Korea.