Researchers: N. Korea Building Reactor

The Institute for Science and International Security said it has pictures indicating "construction activity at the site of the destroyed cooling tower 1 for the disabled reactor" at Yongbyon, The New York Times reported Friday.

WASHINGTON, (UPI) -- Satellite images and a recent visit by U.S. experts indicate North Korea has begun working on a light-water nuclear reactor, a Washington research group said.

The Institute for Science and International Security said it has pictures indicating "construction activity at the site of the destroyed cooling tower 1 for the disabled reactor" at Yongbyon, The New York Times reported Friday.

North Korea demolished the cooling tower in 2008 as part of a denuclearization agreement reached through six-party talks with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

Charles Pritchard, Korea Economic Institute president, said he was told by North Korean officials they were building an experimental light-water reactor, the Times said. Siegfried Hecker, emeritus director of the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory accompanied Pritchard to the reclusive country. He confirmed that the activity seen in satellite imagery is construction of the experimental light-water reactor, the report said.

Light-water reactors usually are used to generate electricity for civilian purposes and are considered relatively safe as far as risks of proliferation are concerned, institute experts said.

The South Korean Defense Ministry declined the Times' request for comment.


Categories: Foreign Government

Tags: Institute for Science and Intern, North Korea, nuclear reactor, Yongbyon


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