A second nuclear reactor Yongbyon complex in the center North Korea appears ready for action. The warning from the International Atomic Energy Agency comes less than a month after it warned of increased levels of activity at the stations.
Just yesterday, following the launch of another intercontinental ballistic missile on Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to launch a nuclear attack in the event of “provocations” using “atomic weapons.”
In April, the 38 North Project, a US think tank, reported that Pyongyang was close to completing construction of a new nuclear reactor. In October, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported “construction activity” at a nuclear reactor and “indications that centrifuge sites for uranium enrichment are operating.”. Now Director General Rafael Grossi has announced that “more recent observations indicate that the water being discharged is hot,” a fact that “is consistent with the current start-up of the Light Water Reactor (LWR), a process that takes time.”
“Without access to the sites, the agency cannot confirm their operational status,” he stressed, warning that “like any other nuclear reactor, the LWR can produce plutonium.” “We do not have enough information about the safety of the LWR reactor to conduct an assessment. The continued development of North Korea’s nuclear program, including the construction and operation of the LWR reactor, presupposes a violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” he said. .
The request to Pyongyang is to “fully comply with its obligations under Security Council resolutions, quickly cooperate with the Agency in the full and effective implementation of the NPT safeguards agreements and resolve all open issues.”
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