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North Korea may have stopped its n-reactor, satellite images show

The report came ahead of the much-anticipated summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump

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Nuclear reactors were launched under the order of Kim. VOA
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North Korea may have stopped operating in its only nuclear reactor, a website specialising in North Korean affairs said on Thursday, ahead of an upcoming summits with South Korea and the US in which possible denuclearisation of the Pyongyang regime is expected to be discussed.

According to an analysis of satellite images taken on March 30 by the website 38 North, the generators of the five-megawatt experimental reactor of the Yongbyon nuclear research centre did not seem to show any activity, Efe news reported. This could point to a deactivation of the nuclear facility, which the regime said was exclusively meant to produce electricity, despite suspicions in the international community that it produced plutonium which was later reprocessed for use in nuclear weapons.

Kim Jong Un
North Korean reactors may not be working now.

The website, linked to the John Hopkins University in the US, also said there was no evidence of plutonium reprocessing taking place at the radiochemical laboratory in Yongbyon. The report, however, said the images showed an excavation project nearby, which could indicate an attempt to provide a steady water flow into the facility to ensure the reactor runs more continuously and safely in the future. It also said there was a new truck activity at the reactor, which may indicate maintenance or repairs, transport of spent fuel rods or the offloading of fresh fuel. The analysis said this area should be closely monitored in future.

Also Read: North Korea to Launch more Satellites Despite International Opposition

The report came ahead of the much-anticipated summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump. The Moon-Kim talks on April 27 would be the first inter-Korean summit since 2007, while the May meeting with Trump would be the first between leaders of the two countries in history. IANS

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North Korea Halts Nuclear And Missile Tests

Pyongyang also says it plans to close nuclear test site as summit between North and South to be held on Friday.

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Kim Jong Un
FILE IMAGE- Kim Jong Un (IANS)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has announced the immediate suspension of nuclear and missile tests, media reports said on Saturday.

“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Efe quoted Kim as saying.

North Korea will also “shut down a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests,” the report added.

Having established a nuclear deterrent, North Korea can now turn to overhauling its economy, Kim said.

North Korean leader.
FILE – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). VOA

Pyongyang’s move comes ahead of Kim’s April 27 summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries.

The last in-person talks between the leaders of North and South Korea took place 11 years ago.

What will be the first-ever encounter between the leaders of North Korea and the US is expected to happen in late May or early June.

Also Read: Meaning of Denuclearization For North Korea

US President Donald Trump, who accepted Kim’s proposal for a meeting after months that saw the two men trade insults and threats, hailed the announcement from Pyongyang.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit,” Trump wrote on Twitter.  IANS

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