New nuclear activity spotted at North Korea's nuclear reactor site

북 영변 새 원자로 포착…북미정상회담 핵심 의제될 수도
As preparations pick up a head of steam for the summits,... analysts have detected new activity at North Korea's main nuclear complex.
Recent satellite imagery suggests a reactor has been powered up following years of construction.
The findings are likely to come up during the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un,... as the U.S. is demanding the regime denuclearize.
Park Hee-jun reports.
Numerous reports are indicating fresh activity at North Korea's nuclear site.
According to the New York Times,... satellite imagery taken in February shows what appears to be emissions from a smokestack,... suggesting a new North Korean reactor, situated at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, is firing up now after years of construction.
Recent analysis by the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University,... also indicates that North Korea may have begun testing an experimental light water reactor.
Both can be used to produce the fissile materials needed for nuclear bombs.

Pyongyang has claimed that the plant was built to produce electricity for civilian use.
But Jane's Intelligence Review cautioned that it's impossible to know for sure without international inspections-- whether the reactor is indeed for civilian electricity,... or whether it's for creating weapons-grade nuclear material.

North Korea hasn't conducted any nuclear tests since last November.
However, the activity at the reactor could raise tension, as it comes at an especially sensitive time with the Trump-Kim talks coming up in the next few months.
The new nuclear activity is likely to be the central issue for the talks,... as the United States' core goal continues to be denuclearizing the North.
And it raises the need for President Trump to not only push for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons,... but also the factories and reactors that create the material to build more weapons.

Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.

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