‘New buildings at N Korea`s nuke complex’

North Korea argues it is producing low-enrichment uranium to be used for a light water reactor.

Last Updated: Jun 11, 2011, 15:57 PM IST

Washington: North Korea appears to have built new facilities at the country`s Yongbyon nuclear complex, a US think tank has said citing new satellite imagery.

"Commercial satellite imagery shows additional construction or renovation activities that occurred in the last two years," the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said in a report yesterday.

The findings suggest "more is going on at Yongbyon than commonly believed," the Washington-based organisation said, adding Pyongyang should explain these new buildings.

North Korea argues it is producing low-enrichment uranium to be used for a light water reactor, while the United States and many other countries suspect that Pyongyang aims to develop highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.

With regard to several buildings located at the complex, the ISIS report said, "The timing and location of these new buildings raise the possibility that these are related to North Korea`s uranium enrichment programme, the conversion of uranium, or fuel fabrication.”

"The think tank said latest satellite imagery also suggested a fuel fabrication building, which had been used in the early to mid-1980s and located just north of the light-water reactor, may have been renovated.”

“These construction or renovation activities took place after monitors of the International Atomic Energy Agency and US experts were removed from North Korea in April 2009," the organisation said.

PTI