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Nuclear watchdog sees signs of ongoing enrichment work in N Korea

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Vienna, March 4, 2019 (dpa/NNN) North Korea keeps using its uranium enrichment plant and has pushed ahead with the construction of a reactor, International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief Yukiya Amano said on Monday.

He cited the information collected by his nuclear experts.

Amano’s update to the IAEA’s governing board came after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to sign an agreement on
denuclearisation as they cut short a long-anticipated second summit in Hanoi.

Although IAEA inspectors are not allowed into North Korea, they have been using satellite images and available documents to monitor the Yongbyon nuclear
complex, which is suspected of producing fissile material for North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

“At the light-water reactor, the (IAEA) saw indications of ongoing construction work,’’ Amano said, adding that his agency “continued to observe indications
of the ongoing use of the reported centrifuge enrichment facility.’’

Enriched uranium is of interest to the IAEA because the material can be used in warheads.

Light-water reactors can also be used to produce weapons material, by taking their used nuclear fuel rods and extracting the plutonium that they
contain.

However, Amano said his experts have not seen any signs of so-called plutonium reprocessing recently in Yongbyon.

Trump said in Hanoi that Kim had promised to uphold a moratorium on nuclear test explosions and missile tests.

However, the United States ultimately wants the communist country to dismantle its nuclear arms facilities. (dpa/NNN)
AIJ/HA

Edited by Abigael Joshua/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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