Alvarez says much of the technology he saw on his visit to North Korea struck him as primitive, including this 1960s helicopter that his team used for transport.
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A six-member congressional team led by Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) is flying home from a visit to North and South Korea. According to Weldon, North Korean leaders told the group that their country has nuclear weapons and plans to build more.
U.S. officials say they don't know whether to believe the claim. One reason is that few Americans have ever been allowed to visit the communist country's nuclear facilities. Robert Alvarez, in 1994, was part of the first U.S. delegation to visit the nuclear facility at Yongbyon. Alvarez, who worked at the Department of Energy, was the highest ranking official on the trip.
He says everything he encountered was old, primitive -- as if he'd stepped into a time machine. He recounts his visit -- and the questions it left him with -- to NPR's David Kestenbaum.