North Korea continues to upgrade nuclear reactor after pledging to denuclearise

Published: 27 Jun 2018 By Grace Kimberley

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Following meetings between North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump whereby Jong-un committed to the “complete denuclearisation” of North Korea, new satellite images have shown “rapid” improvements are still being made to Yongbyon, the country’s only weapon-fuelling reactor.

Constructional improvements at the nuclear facility are “continuing at a rapid pace”, says an analysis by monitoring group 38 North.

Despite Kim Jong-un’s pledge of “complete denuclearisation” to president Donald Trump of the US and Moon Jae-in of South Korea, how and when a deal will be executed remains unconfirmed.

However, some experts warn: “Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise,”

“The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”

While lack of clarity on a nuclear deal remains, South Korea is continuing with its diplomatic endeavours and leaders from both North and South Korea have met for military talks this week to solidify a stronger communication line.

Many groups and analysts fear the worst for South Korea and the US. Jenny Town, managing director of 38 North said: “Infrastructure improvements continue at Yongbyon,”

“Underscores reason why an actual deal is necessary, not just a statement of lofty goals.”

 

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