Satellite image shows progress at North Korean nuclear reactor
A new satellite image shows that North Korea has made progress in building a light-water reactor to expand its nuclear programme, a private non-proliferation group has said.
The picture of the nuclear complex at Yongbyon was taken on 3 February – nearly a month before North Korea agreed to freeze major nuclear activities in return for US food aid.
The image, from a commercial satellite, was released by the Institute of Science and International Security, based in Washington, on Tuesday. Paul Brannan, a senior analyst, said a turbine building at the reactor that was still being built in September appeared to be externally complete.
North Korea says the reactor is for electricity generation, and two US academics who visited the site in 2010 and have studied subsequent satellite imagery said the reactor appeared designed for that purpose. Other experts fear it could be designed to produce plutonium for bombs.
North Korea has reprocessed spent fuel from an older reactor at Yongbyon to extract plutonium and held nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
Last week's US-North Korea agreement is seen as a step towards negotiations on getting the North to abandon its nuclear weapons programme in return for more aid.
Under the agreement, North Korea said it would freeze uranium enrichment at Yongbyon, allow in UN inspectors and suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
Heathrow airport reopens runways after British Airways plane 'on fire over London' makes emergency landing
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.