updated 9/3/2008 11:28:28 AM ET 2008-09-03T15:28:28

North Korea has started work to restore its nuclear facilities after the country suspended operations last week to disable them, South Korea said Wednesday.

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South Korea, the United States and other members of a six-party group involved in nuclear negotiations with the North are working together closely to determine how to respond to the North's latest move, the Foreign Ministry said.

South Korea's government is "seriously concerned" over the North Korean move, a ministry statement said, and is urging North Korea not to further aggravate the situation. The ministry refused to disclose how it confirmed the North had began work to restore its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon.

Earlier Wednesday, Japan's public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News agency reported that North Korea started putting its nuclear facility back together.

Pyongyang: U.S. not fulfilling obligations
North Korea said last week it had stopped disabling its nuclear reactor and threatened to restore the plutonium-producing facility, saying Washington had not held up its end of the disarmament deal because it had not removed the North from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

In response, Washington repeated its demand that North Korea must first agree to a plan to verify an accounting of nuclear programs it submitted in June, if it wants to be taken off the list.

North Korea began disabling its nuclear plant in Yongbyon, north of the capital Pyongyang, in November. But it slowed the work to protest a delay in the provision of promised aid from its negotiating partners.

Disarmament efforts reported major progress in June after the North submitted its long-delayed nuclear declaration and destroyed its nuclear cooling tower in a show of its commitment to denuclearization.

The United States then announced it would delist the North from the terrorism blacklist, a coveted goal of the North's cash-strapped regime.

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