Feeds

N Korea preps nuclear reactor shutdown

Satellite images indicate imminent action, spooks claim

Build a business case: developing custom apps

North Korea may be preparing to shut down its main nuclear reactor, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Although the reactor at the Yongbyon facility "remained in operation today", as The Telegraph explains, South Korean sources suggest "a high possibility that movement of cars and people at the site recorded in satellite photos could be linked to a shutdown".

An official at South Korea's National Intelligence Service said spooks were "following and analysing some peculiar movements" around the reactor, but didn't go into details. Another anonymous official is quoted as saying that South Korea and the US have been monitoring developments for about a month. He said: "The intensity of these activities has increased from about a week or two ago. There are activities other than cars and people moving busily."

The reported activity comes as South Korea prepares to engage in "economic cooperation talks" with the Pyongyang regime. Alluding to the "give up nukes, get aid" carrot offered by the west, North Korea's deputy unification minister Kim Jung-tae said: "The issue of food aid will be discussed."

Back in February, North Korea promised it would shut down its reactor in return for fuel aid. Specifically, it promised to "close its Yongbyon reactor within 60 days, in return for 50,000 metric tons of fuel aid or economic aid of equal value".

The US at the time expressed doubt that Pyongyang would honour the pledge, noting that a similar deal back in 1990s had collapsed when North Korea simply carried on with its nuclear programme. ®

Bootnote

Here's a Google Earth view of Yongbyon from October last year. The reactor is at the bottom right:

Yongbyon nuclear facility

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.