US experts Monitor Nuclear Activities in North Korea
Activities at North Korea’s main nuclear site have hinted that Pyongyang may be reprocessing radioactive materials into bomb fuel since the summit failed with the United States, according to US experts.
Possible signs of new reprocessing activities last week after a February summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Young-yun ended abruptly without agreement on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Since the summit, North Korea has been saying it is considering options for its diplomacy with the United States. Last week, Kim announced he was open to talks with Trump if Washington came to the negotiating table “with a sound attitude.”
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, satellite images of the Yongbyon nuclear site on April 12 show five train vehicles near the uranium enrichment plant and the radiochemical laboratory.
“In the past, these specialized vehicles were apparently linked to the transport of radioactive materials or reprocessing,” the Washington-based center said. “Current activities, along with their images, do not rule out the possibility of such activities either before or after the Processing”.
Trump and Kim held their first historic summit in Singapore last June and signed a vague declaration on “nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula.”
But their failure to reach a deal at the second summit in Hanoi on retreating Pyongyang’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions raised questions about the future of the broader process.
The US president left the summit, during which the North’s leader proposed a partial agreement that included a proposal to dismantle the Yongbyon facility.
The town, about 100 kilometers north of Pyongyang, has the country’s first nuclear reactor, the only known plutonium source for the North’s weapons program.
Yongbyon is not believed to be the only uranium enrichment facility, and its closure would not be an indication of the end of North Korea’s nuclear program.
North Korea suspended its nuclear and missile tests during the diplomatic process in 2018, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said there were indications that Yongbyon was being used as early as the end of February
US experts Monitor Nuclear Activities in North Korea - /10
Activities at North Korea's main nuclear site have hinted that Pyongyang may be reprocessing radioactive materials into bomb fuel since the summit failed with the United States, according to US experts.