Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

IAEA says sees signs North Korea nuclear reactor may be operating

Published on Sep 4, 2014 10:20 PM

VIENNA (REUTERS) - The UN nuclear watchdog said it has seen releases of steam and water indicating that North Korea may be operating a reactor, in the latest update on a plant that experts say could make plutonium for atomic bombs.

North Korea announced in April of last year that it would revive its aged five-megawatt research reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, saying it was seeking a deterrent capacity.

The isolated and poverty-stricken state defends its nuclear programme as a "treasured sword" to counter what it sees as US-led hostility.

North Korea's nuclear programme "remains a matter of serious concern", the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in an annual report posted on the UN agency's website.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!