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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid