» 08/22/2012, 00.00
Construction of Yongbyon nuclear reactor leaps forward
Satellite images show a new dome on the nuclear reactor, which had been a year in the making. Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un might visit Iran to take part in a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - North Korea has completed
a critical step in building a new nuclear reactor. Recent satellite images
analysed by experts said that North Korean experts have been able to place a
dome on a light water reactor at Yongbyon, said Allison Puccioni of Jane's Defence Weekly. But it may take
several more years before the site is fully operational.
The international community has been critical of this
new reactor and of Pyongyang's nuclear tests since 2008. Pushed by the late Kim
Jong-il, Pyongyang's nuclear programme has led the United States and South
Korea to end humanitarian aid to the Communist nation, already reeling from
famine, floods and policies of economic autarchy that are inappropriate for the
For North Korea's Stalinist leaders, the new nuclear
reactor has civilian purposes. South Korean intelligence sources believe however
it can produce highly enriched uranium for weapons.
At present, ''The emplacement of the dome is a
significant development,'' Puccioni said. Now the reactor could be used to
produce plutonium or be converted for the purpose of enriching uranium, which is
needed to make nuclear weapons.
These developments appear to confirm that North Korea's
new leader Kim Jong-un plans to stay the militarist course set by his father.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Kim may visit Iran
on Sunday for the Non-Aligned Movement summit. Although the visit has not been
confirmed, if it did take place it would be a strong message for China, North
Korea's only big power friend.
20/07/2007 CHINA – NORTH KOREA – UNITED N
No agreement on North Korea’s nuclear programme
Six-nation talks fail to deliver agreement on deadline. New meeting set for September to iron out “technical details.” Washington and Pyongyang still playing tough.
27/06/2008 NORTH KOREA
Pyongyang gives in and destroys “atomic” tower
The cooling tower of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor was blown up live in front of the world’s cameras. It was here that North Korea staged its first nuclear test in October 2006. The event marks the success of US and Chinese diplomacies although it is still not certain that Pyongyang will be off the US “rogue” state list.
18/07/2007 NORTH KOREA - UN
Pyongyang shuts down another 4 nuclear reactors
North Korea has shut all five reactors in the Yongbyon power plant. In the coming days the “second phase” in six party talks opens in Beijing, but analysts express caution over a definitive abandonment of the atomic project.
16/07/2007 NORTH KOREA - USA
IAEA confirms the closure of Yongbyon
The agency’s director general speaks of a “first step in the right direction”, revealing however, that there is still much to be done. A second shipment of oil, provided for in the North Korean denuclearization deal, leaves Seoul.
11/04/2007 NORTH KOREA - USA
Pyongyang’s Macau accounts unblocked in anticipation of nuclear shut down
The US negotiator to North Korea announces 25 million dollars, blocked in Macau accounts since 2005 are now available, and invites the Stalinist regime to push ahead with shutting down its nuclear reactors. China and South Korea align themselves with Washington while AsiaNews sources in Korea express their doubts about the peninsula’s will to denuclearize
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter
As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
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