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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid