News / Asia

US Analysts: Evidence 'Conclusive' N. Korea Restarted Reactor

Yongbyon nuclear plant before demolishing a cooling tower, June 27, 2008.
Yongbyon nuclear plant before demolishing a cooling tower, June 27, 2008.
A leading U.S. research institute says North Korea has clearly restarted an aging nuclear reactor it had begun to dismantle as part of an international agreement in 2007.

The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University Wednesday said new commercial satellite imagery provides conclusive evidence that the plutonium reactor at Yongbyon is discharging hot wastewater into a river through a new drain pipe.

Last month, the institute reported signs that the antiquated Yongbyon reactor likely had begun operations, despite Russian warnings that doing so could lead to catastrophe on the Korean peninsula.  At that time, Russian diplomatic sources described the reactor as in a "horrific state" of disrepair.

The new disclosure comes as U.S. experts met with North Korean officials to discuss resuming stalled international talks about Pyongyang's nuclear program.

That London meeting came just hours after the United States and South Korea signed an agreement meant to provide greater deterrence against North Korea's nuclear weapons. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-jin signed the deal in Seoul during annual security talks.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday how or if the new Yongbyon evidence will impact any future multi-lateral talks.

North Korea last month renewed its call for the resumption of such negotiations on its nuclear program.  But the United States - a key participant in the so-called "six-party talks" - said Pyongyang first must take "meaningful action" on earlier promises to end its nuclear weapons program.

The North originally shut down the Yongbyon reactor six years ago, under an aid-for-disarmament deal worked out under the six-party format.

But Pyongyang quit the six-party talks in 2009 and has since defied United Nations resolutions with two underground nuclear tests.  It also has ignored other U.N. directives with multiple missile launches and a third nuclear test earlier this year.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid