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U.S. Concerned About North Korea’s Operation of Light-water Reactor

On the 23rd (local time), the U.S. government expressed profound concerns about safety in response to North Korea’s apparent nuclear test operation of its Yongbyon light-water reactor.

The U.S. State Department issued this statement following an inquiry from South Korean media regarding the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) announcement of North Korea’s test operation at the Yongbyon light-water reactor. The response was officially attributed to the U.S. representative office in Vienna, Austria.

In a recent statement, the State Department highlighted the significant risks North Korea faces domestically and in the wider nuclear industry due to the lack of oversight and support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Additionally, the Department underscored the severe threat posed by North Korea’s unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programs to international peace and security.

On the 21st, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi reported observing signs of a test operation, like warm water flow, near the experimental light-water reactor (LWR) at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility. Director General Grossi had previously reported similar indications in November. This development raises concerns about North Korea potentially gaining additional methods for producing nuclear weapon materials.

By. Hyunji Kwon

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