VIENNA, October 3. (Itar-Tass) – North Korea indeed possesses technical capabilities for launching the disabled Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which was disabled in 2007, an expert with close ties to the IAEA told Itar-Tass.
Commenting on the rumors of the possible launch, the source said: “We know that they’ve been working actively in the area; they have a fairly good potential, they work very fast and they have restored it.”
The expert noted that currently the only source of information regarding North Korea’s nuclear program are satellite images. “IAEA has virtually no other information, as the last inspection happened a long time ago; experts have no access to the facility,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the newspaper Chosun ilbo reported that the reactor could be re-energized. Upon studying the latest pictures transmitted by a space satellite, specialists of the US-Korea Institute (USKI) at the John Hopkins University stated with confidence that the plutonium reactor at the Yongbyon research center discharges hot effluents into a nearby river via a new drainage pipe.