Friday the 13th is an appropriate day to report that the North Koreans may have taken a lesson from Syria, which seemingly built up its chemical weapons supply “in plain sight.”

Satellite imagery shows that North Korea appears to have restarted a reactor capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium.

North Korea Nuclear Plant Satellite

White steam can be seen rising from a building near the hall housing steam turbines and electric generators at Yongbyon nuclear complex in an image taken on 31 August, said the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

…The US-Korea Institute said the gas-graphite reactor was capable of producing 6kg of weapons-grade plutonium a year. It believes that the North already has 34-36kg, sufficient for around a dozen weapons.

How will the Obama Administration respond? With a strongly worded message, of course!

The United States scolded North Korea on Thursday over reports indicating the reclusive nation has restarted a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor, emphasizing that such a move would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

….”Suffice to say, if it was true, it would be a violation of the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and, of course, contrary to North Korea’s commitments under its September 19, 2005, joint statement,” said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

Its this kind of strong stance that has inspired neighboring Japan to build up its national defense, despite an economy still suffering from the impact of a deadly earthquake/tsunami combination in 2011.

However, at least one South Korean thinks this Friday the 13th is very lucky:

More than 40 years after he was abducted from a fishing boat and taken to North Korea, a South Korean fisherman has returned to his home in Seoul, state-run Yonhap news agency reported Friday, citing a government official.

Jeon Wook-pyo, 68, escaped early last month to a third country — which has not been identified publicly — from where he sent a letter to South Korean President Park Geun-hye, seeking help to get home to Seoul.

“I took a chance to escape the North because I had a growing wish to spend the rest of my life with my relatives and brothers at home,” he wrote, according to Yonhap.