The agency says the facts are “deeply disturbing” and could indicate the expansion of the North Korean regime’s weapons program.
South Korea and North Korea rejoin the straight line between the leaders
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its annual report, “Since early July, there have been indications, including the release of cooling water, consistent with the operation of the reactor.”
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proposed in 2019, in his second summit with then US President Donald Trump, to destroy part of the Yongbyon complex, the country’s main nuclear facility, in exchange for cost reduction. was rejected.
The reactor appeared to be dormant from December 2018 until recently, said an IAEA report on Friday, August 27.
UN agency inspectors were expelled from North Korea in 2009 and have since had to monitor North Korean nuclear activity overseas.
Possible reactor operation is yet another recent sign that the North Korean government is using a nearby radiochemical laboratory to separate plutonium from previously spent fuel from the reactor.
Aiya said both facts are “seriously disturbing” and the activities would represent a “clear violation” of UN resolutions.
A top official of the US State Department said that the US government America Was aware of the report and is coordinating its actions with other allied countries.
The State Department source said the report highlights the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
“We continue to engage with North Korea to address the full range of issues related to this alleged activity and denuclearization,” he said.
Yongbyon, 100 kilometers north of the capital Pyongyang, is the country’s first nuclear reactor and the only known source of plutonium for its weapons program.
However, analysts suspect that this is not North Korea’s only uranium enrichment facility.
Photo released by South Korea shows an inspection of North Korea’s nuclear power plant in 2009 – Photo: South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Disclosure / via AFP
Subject to a number of international sanctions, North Korea suspended nuclear and missile tests during diplomatic rapprochement with the United States in 2018, which is now on hold.
In January 2020, the communist regime announced an end to the self-imposed moratorium and has since carried out a series of short-range missile launches. The country has not conducted a nuclear test since 2017.