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Satellite image shows renewed activity at North Korean nuclear lab

   April 1, 2021 2:12 AM
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by Andrea Mitchell, Dan De Luce and Abigail Williams

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North Korea nuclear facility Nuclear weapons in North Korea
 
Satellite images show renewed activity at a North Korean nuclear facility, suggesting that Kim Jong Un's regime is preparing to start or has already started reprocessing plutonium for nuclear weapons, experts say.

The commercial satellite photos show steam or smoke rising from a small building at the Yongbyon Radiochemistry Laboratory and from an adjacent thermal plant. The lab reprocesses spent fuel rods to extract plutonium for nuclear bombs.

The photos, released by Maxar Technologies and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, were posted on the think tank's website, Beyond Parallel.

Previous satellite imagery had shown other signs of activity at the thermal power plant in recent weeks. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, this month cited signs of activity at the Yongbyon facility and another site, calling the nuclear work a clear violation of U.N. sanctions.

The latest activity suggests that North Korea has launched is preparing to launch a new effort for nuclear reprocessing, said Victor Cha, Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who was a senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration.

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