IAEA Detects Activities at North Korean Nuclear Facilities

Michael Song, Oct. 6, 2015, 8:56 a.m.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday his organization  as spotted brisk activities at North Korea's main nuclear site. "We have observed the discharge of water, transportation of equipment to the facility, and some indications of operations of the 5-megawatt reactor," IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano told reporters here, citing the satellite imagery of the Yongbyon nuclear complex.

He was speaking after meetings with top South Korean officials including Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and the top nuclear envoy Hwang Joon-kook. Amano, however, pointed out that the IAEA's intelligence on the North's nuclear program is limited as it has no inspectors there.

He was also guarded about the possibility of another underground nuclear test by the secretive communist nation, saying it is a matter to be followed by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Amano reiterated the IAEA's call for Pyongyang to abide by all of its international obligations under U.N. resolutions and agreements at the six-party talks,

Asked if the IAEA would try to help put pressure on the North, he made clear that its function is to verify the implementation of a nuclear deal, "not to be politically involved." He stressed that a "political agreement" should be made in advance among major stakeholders, apparently meaning South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia. The five regional powers are the North's dialogue partners in the now-suspended six-way talks. "And upon request from member states, the IAEA is ready to play its role," he said.


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