North Korea has secret nuclear sites: Report

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 23:18

New York: North Korea has at least one
secret nuclear military facility, a panel of experts has told
the UN Security Council in a report calling for tougher
implementation of sanctions, diplomats said.

The subterfuge work was probably started in the 1990s
without raising suspicions, according to diplomats who have
seen the report which could be discussed by a special Security
Council sanctions committee in coming days.

The report is based on evidence from US scientist
Siegfried Hecker who was taken to a secret site by the North
Korean authorities last November.

Hecker has told of seeing hundreds of centrifuges at the
Yongbyon complex when he went there. The report quoted him as
saying that North Korea must have had foreign help to build
the facility, one diplomat, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said.

"The report says that the centrifuges at Yongbyon must
have been operated at least one other facility before being
moved there," the diplomat added.

"The equipment must have been started at least in the
1990s and had to have been made with outside help," said
another diplomat, also speaking on condition of anonymity
because the report has not been made public.

The panel of experts was set up to monitor two rounds of
sanctions ordered by the UN Security Council against North
Korea because of its nuclear bomb program.

"They said that more North Korea entities and individuals
should be brought into the sanctions regime," said the
diplomat.

The new names who would face a travel ban and assets
freeze could be added to the sanctions regime without the need
for a new UN Security Council resolution that China would
probably oppose.

The United States and other western nations on the
15-member Security Council have already called for tighter
sanctions.

The panel met Hecker after his visit to North Korea. None
of the experts have been allowed to Yongbyon or any other
North Korean facility.

North Korea has already said it has a plutonium bomb. It
says it carried out bomb tests in 2006 and 2009.

It admitted that low-enriched uranium was being made at
Yongbyon with the centrifuges after Hecker`s visit. The North
Korean authorities insist the uranium is for a "peaceful"
light water reactor.

The UN experts made 10 recommendations, including adding
more North Korean nuclear officials and companies to the
sanctions list. They said North Korea state entities are using
aliases to get equipment and that a wider selection of
materials should be put on a list of banned imports, the
diplomats said.

Neighboring countries should also tighten export controls
to the North, the report was quoted as saying.

North Korea kicked UN nuclear inspectors out of Yongbyon
in 2002 before withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty,
the pact banning the spread of nuclear weapons.

The report did not name any country suspected of helping
North Korea but the West has accused Iran and North Korea of
working together on missile technology.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 23:18

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