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North Korea suspected of resuming work on nuclear reactor

September 13, 2013, 12:47 UTC+3
US State Department: restarting nuclear activity in Yongbyon centre violates UNSC resolution
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Archive photo EPA/DIGITAL GLOBE

Archive photo EPA/DIGITAL GLOBE

WASHINGTON, September 13 (Itar-Tass) - The resumption of the work of the 5-megawatt gas-graphite reactor at the Yongbyon research centre would be a violation by Pyongyang of the UN Security Council resolutions and agreements that had been once reached at the six-party talks, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf stated on Thursday.

She commented at a news briefing findings of the non-governmental U.S-Korea Institute at School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. According to the conclusions of the research centre’s experts, made on the basis of new satellite images of the Yongbyon complex, the North Korean side has either already launched the reactor or is close to it. Pyongyang announced in April 2013 that it intended to resume the work of all the facilities at Yongbyon and then redesign them.

According to Harf, the U.S. government is aware of the information disseminated by the Institute. “Well, we’ve seen this report. As a general matter, we don’t comment on intelligence matters or on this issue one way or the other. I’m certainly not going to comment on this one way or the other,” the US State Department official said.

“Suffice to say if it was true, it would be a violation of the corresponding UN Security Council resolutions, and of course contrary to North Korea’s commitments under the September 19th, 2005 joint statement,” she specified.

According to American non-government experts, the Yongbyon reactor had produced 34-36 kg of plutonium in the periods between 1985-1994 and 2002-2007. This amount is enough to make at least 12 warheads.

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