ANKARA (AA): North Korea did not halt production of material in 2018 for use of nuclear weapons despite ongoing intense diplomacy for denuclearization of Korean peninsula, local media said on Thursday citing a UN report. The Korean daily Cholsunilbo reported that Pyongyang continued to produce raw material for nuclear weapons last year despite diplomatic efforts with South Korea and the US, citing a report by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea on Tuesday.
“The Yongbyon 5 MW reactor has been in normal operation since December 2015, though it temporarily suspended operations for a few days in February, March, and April in 2018,” it said. A UN member state informed [the UN committee] that the reactor’s operation was suspended from September to October 2018 and that the discharge of spent fuel rods could have taken place during those two months, according to the UN report. “The committee said it is probing organizations and individuals in Asia who secretly supplied centrifuges for the North to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons,” the Korean daily added.
The latest report came after North Korea was reported to have “almost” restored rocket launch Dongchang-ri test site. The UN committee also said that the North was assembling missiles at civilian plants or non-military facilities “apparently to guard against targeted strikes against official nuclear and missile facilities”.