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North Korea opens favored project of Kim Jong Il, a hydroelectric plant

North Korea has unveiled a massive hydroelectric power station, one of its biggest construction projects in recent years. It is expected to provide the nation with much-needed electricity, the Associated Press reported.

The project, three years in the making, was reportedly a favored project of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

The news came as the US on Thursday again urged North Korea not to launch a long-range rocket, according to Agence France-Presse.

Washington was reacting to a newspaper report that hinted at a new nuclear test, despite previous suggestions by Pyongyang that it would not pursue testing.

The report, carried in Choson Sinbo, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper in Japan, warned that Pyongyang’s moratorium on nuclear tests “can be canceled” if the United States ends plans for food aid, AFP reported.

North Korea is preparing for what it calls the peaceful launch this month of a scientific satellite into orbit. The US claims the launch is a cover to test long-range missile technology.

Recent satellite imagery appears to show North Korea well advanced in preparations for the launch, despite international objections.

Meanwhile, North Korea has opened the Huichon Power Station on the Chongchon River in Jagang Province, north of Pyongyang in the first big ceremony in a month of celebrations timed for the April centenary of the birth of late President Kim Il Sung, the AP reported.

Kim Jong Il visited the project at least five times before his December death, including with his son and successor Kim Jong Un in August 2011.

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