October 25, 2021

ParkMapper

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North Korea appears to have restarted its nuclear reactor, the IAEA says

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), North Korea has reopened its plutonium-producing nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. “Since the beginning of July, there have been signs of a cooling water leak, compatible with the operation of the reactor,” he said. The company said in its annual report. The Yongbyon nuclear reactor has been closed since the beginning of December 2018, according to a report dated Friday.

By restarting the five-megawatt reactor, Pyongyang has approved its nuclear development program at the United Nations (UN).

Read more Pyongyang plans to buy a nuclear submarine against its “biggest enemy” the United States.

Stopped negotiations

The future of the nuclear complex is one of the points of discussion at the second summit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with US President Donald Trump, which ended in defeat in Hanoi in 2019.

North Korea has offered to remove part of the Yongbyon campus “Area” Sanctions. This offer was rejected by Washington. Since then, negotiations between the two countries have stalled.

The isolated regime has been subject to a number of international sanctions, including its military programs, such as nuclear power, the embargo, and significant progress under Kim Jong-un’s rule.

IAEA experts were expelled from North Korea in 2009. Since then, the agency has been monitoring North Korea’s activities from abroad.

Symptoms of “deep trouble”

The reopening of the reactor is possible following recent reports that Pyongyang is also using a nearby radiochemical laboratory to separate plutonium from spent fuel from the reactor.

Indications of furnace and laboratory operation “Deep trouble”, The IAEA said, these activities a “Obvious Violation” United Nations Resolutions.

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The Yongbyon campus, located 100 kilometers north of Pyongyang, opened in 1986 and includes dozens of buildings. This is where North Korea’s first nuclear reactor was built, known as the only source of plutonium in the country.

Yongbyon will not be the only uranium enrichment facility in the country, but its closure will not mark the end of the country’s nuclear program.

World with AFP