News / Asia

IAEA: Construction Near Mothballed North Korean Reactor

Satellite images of nuclear complex in Yongbyon, North Korea, Sept. 20, 2011 and Feb. 3, 2012.
Satellite images of nuclear complex in Yongbyon, North Korea, Sept. 20, 2011 and Feb. 3, 2012.
Reuters
— North Korea has been carrying out construction work at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, including near a mothballed reactor that experts say could produce plutonium for bombs, a U.N. nuclear agency report showed on Wednesday.
 
The U.N. watchdog, which monitors the isolated state's nuclear developments via satellite, said the activities appeared to be broadly consistent with the North's "statements that it is further developing its nuclear capabilities."
 
North Korea's nuclear program "remains a matter of serious concern," the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report to member states said.
 
Pyongyang announced in April that it would revive the aged Yongbyon five-megawatt research reactor that yields bomb-grade plutonium, but stressed it was seeking a deterrent capacity.
 
Nuclear experts said at the time it would probably take about half a year to get the reactor up and running if it had not suffered significant damage from neglect.
 
The Yongbyon reactor has been technically out of operation for years. In 2008 the North destroyed its cooling tower as a confidence-building step in U.S.-led multilateral negotiations aimed at reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula.
 
But the thaw in tensions was short-lived. Six-nation aid-for-disarmament talks between the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the United States have been stalled for years.
 
North Korea said in July it would not give up its nuclear deterrent until Washington ends its "hostile policy" towards Pyongyang, although it was ready to revive nuclear talks. The United States fought on the side of the South in the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
 
North Korea — which withdrew from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 — conducted its third nuclear test in February this year, prompting stiffer U.N. sanctions.
 
The IAEA report suggested North Korea may have enough uranium for a "full core load" of fuel but it was "not possible to determine when the reactor may start operation."
 
It said construction activities on buildings adjacent to the reactor building and the excavation of trenches in the vicinity were observed between March and June.
 
"These trenches appear to be related to the reconfiguration of the reactor's cooling system," it said. "If this is the case, such a reconfiguration could possibly enable the reactor to be restarted without rebuilding the cooling tower."

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid