New satellite images show activity at North Korean nuclear reactor
Seoul, Nov 25 (EFE).- Recent commercial satellite images show new evidence that North Korea is operating its 5 megawatt experimental nuclear reactor, specialist website 38 North reported Thursday.
The images from Nov. 24 appear to show steam emanating from the generator hall of the reactor at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center (about 100 kilometers north of Pyongyang), which is believed to have the capacity to produce about 6 kilograms of plutonium per year.
This indicates that “at least one of the generators is running,” explains the report.
In addition, the images also reveal that the reactor is discharging water into the Kuryong River.
These new signs of activity are “notable,” according to 38 North, which points out that plutonium production is likely needed to meet the nuclear weapons development goals set during the congress of the country’s sole party at the beginning of the year.
The photos also show that construction continues on a new building located south of the Yongbyon experimental light water reactor, “although there are no signs of operations starting” at the reactor.
After lying dormant since 2018, an International Atomic Energy Agency report released in August said that the regime had reactivated the reactor.
Yongbyon showed no activity during Pyongyang’s rapprochement process with Seoul and Washington between 2018 and 2019.
The resumption of activity underlines Pyongyang’s intent to continue developing its nuclear program in the absence of common positions that will even allow for dialogue on denuclearization, stalled since 2019, to be resumed.
Since Joe Biden assumed the presidency, the United States has invited North Korea to resume talks, but the regime has rejected the proposal. EFE