IAEA Worries Over North Korea’s New Uranium Enrichment Facility
The nuclear watchdog of United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency, expressed concerns over supposed newly developed Uranium enrichment facility in North Korea. The head of the IAEA Yukio Amano said he learned of recent reports about a new Uranium enrichment facility, as well as the construction of a new light water reactor, in North Korea, BBC news reported.
Last month, a US scientist reportedly had been shown a new Uranium enrichment plant with at least 1,000 centrifuges. This week, North Korea said the plant was operating with thousands of centrifuges. North Korea expelled IAEA inspectors, last year. The inspectors have not been allowed into North Korea since then. North Korea tested nuclear devices twice in 2006 and 2009. When it said it tested a nuclear missile in 2009, many countries doubted whether North Korea did it as it claimed. They were doubtful of North Korea’s capacity to build a full-fledged nuclear missile.
The American nuclear scientist, Siegfried Hecker, visited the plant at Yongbyon in mid-November and reportedly said he was stunned by the sophistication of the equipment he was shown.
Many international analysts say North Korea’s nuclear program is mainly aimed at extracting more concessions from six partite talks involving two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the US. South Korea and the US have been offering aid to North Korea in return to allowing IAEA inspectors to assess the North Korean capacity to build nuclear arms and finally diffusing them. Earlier this year, North Korea invited a special US envoy to resume talks. Western governments assessed then that North Korea was feeling pain of the international sanctions slapped against it, as a result of expulsion of IAEA inspectors.Continued on the next page