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Concern Over North Korean Reactor


A satellite image shows North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center (file photo)

A satellite image shows North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center (file photo)

Reports by a U.S. research institute that North Korea appears to be restarting its Yongbyon nuclear reactor are causing international concern.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, said the IAEA is monitoring the reports but does not yet have a "clear understanding" of the situation there. Russia said indirect signs show some activities are being conducted at Yongbyon but that there is no evidence the reactor has been relaunched.

A diplomatic source said Russia was concerned over the "nightmarish state" of the reactor, which can produce weapons-grade plutonium.

North Korea closed the Yongbyon reactor in 2007 as part of six-nation talks in which it agreed to disarm in return for aid. In April, Pyongyang said that it planned to restart the facilities at Yongbyon.


Based on reporting by Interfax and AFP
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