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Thursday, February 29, 2024

North Korea, nuclear weapons. IAEA: the regime is making progress in building a key nuclear facility

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North Korea’s work on expanding key facilities at its main nuclear facility in Yongbyon is progressing, said the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said at the agency’s quarterly Board of Governors’ 35-nation board that North Korea’s work to expand key facilities at its main Jongbjon nuclear facility is progressing.

“A roof has been installed on the extension to the nuclear fuel enrichment plant known to us, so the extension is already externally completed,” Grossi said in a statement. – In the vicinity of the light water reactor (LWR), we have observed that a new building, which began construction in April 2021, has been completed. The construction of two adjoining buildings has also started – he added.

These assumptions were confirmed by the IAEA’s observations, which at the end of last year detected signs of continuous operation of the Jongbjon reactor.

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North Korea is conducting ballistic missile testsJEON HEON-KYUN / PAP / EPA

North Korea is running tests

Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington on the denuclearization of North Korea have stalled since the failed second summit between Kim Jong Un and then-US President Donald Trump in Vietnam in February 2019.

The North Korean side demanded the lifting of almost all international sanctions there, offering only partial denuclearization in return, to which the Americans did not agree.

North Korea conducted 13 ballistic missile tests in 2022 alone, including the first ICBM test since 2017.

Main photo source: JEON HEON-KYUN / PAP / EPA

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