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BANGKOK 19 April 2019 17:20
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Satellite images may show reprocessing activity at North Korea nuclear site: U.S. researchers

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Satellite images may show reprocessing activity at North Korea nuclear site: U.S. researchers

By David Brunnstrom

 

2019-04-17T035324Z_1_LYNXNPEF3G07J_RTROPTP_4_NORTH-KOREA-NUCLEAR-REPORT.JPG

A view of what researchers of Beyond Parallel, a CSIS project, describe as specialized rail cars at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in North Pyongan Province, North Korea, in this commercial satellite image taken April 12, 2019 and released April 16, 2019. CSIS/Beyond Parallel/DigitalGlobe 2019 via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellite images from last week show movement at North Korea's main nuclear site that could be associated with the reprocessing of radioactive material into bomb fuel, a U.S. think tank said on Tuesday.

 

Any new reprocessing activity would underscore the failure of a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in late February to make progress toward North Korea's denuclearisation.

 

Washington's Centre for Strategic and International Studies said in a report that satellite imagery of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear site from April 12 showed five specialised railcars near its Uranium Enrichment Facility and Radiochemistry Laboratory.

 

It said their movement could indicate the transfer of radioactive material.

 

"In the past, these specialised railcars appear to have been associated with the movement of radioactive material or reprocessing campaigns." the report said. "The current activity, along with their configurations, does not rule out their possible involvement in such activity, either before or after a reprocessing campaign."

 

The U.S. State Department declined to comment on intelligence matters, but a source familiar with U.S. government assessments said that while U.S. experts thought the movements could possibly be related to reprocessing, they were doubtful it was significant nuclear activity.

 

Jenny Town, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Centre think tank, said that if reprocessing was taking place, it would be a significant given U.S.-North Korean talks in the past year and the failure to reach an agreement on the future of Yongbyon in Hanoi.

 

"Because there wasn't an agreement with North Korea on Yongbyon, it would be interesting timing if they were to have started something so quickly after Hanoi," she said.

 

Trump has met Kim twice in the past year to try to persuade him to abandon a nuclear weapons programme that threatens the United States, but progress so far has been scant.

 

The Hanoi talks collapsed after Trump proposed a "big deal" in which sanctions on North Korea would be lifted if it handed over all its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the United States. He rejected partial denuclearisation steps offered by Kim, which included an offer to dismantle Yongbyon.

 

Although Kim has maintained a freeze in missile and nuclear tests since 2017, U.S. officials say North Korea has continued to produce fissile material that can be processed for use in bombs.

 

Last month, a senior North Korean official warned that Kim might rethink the test freeze unless Washington made concessions.

 

Last week, Kim said the Hanoi breakdown raised the risks of reviving tensions, adding that he was only interested in meeting Trump again if the United States came with the right attitude.

 

Kim said he would wait "till the end of this year" for the United States to decide to be more flexible. On Monday, Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brushed aside this demand with Pompeo saying Kim should keep his promise to give up his nuclear weapons before then.

 

Town said any new reprocessing work at Yongbyon would emphasise the importance of the facility in North Korea's nuclear programme.

 

"It would underscore that it is an active facility that does increase North Korea's fissile material stocks to increase its arsenal."

 

A study by Stanford University's Centre for International Security and Cooperation released ahead of the Hanoi summit said North Korea had continued to produce bomb fuel in 2018 and may have produced enough in the past year to add as many as seven nuclear weapons to its arsenal.

 

Experts have estimated the size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal at anywhere between 20 and 60 warheads.

 

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)

 

 

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 -- © Copyright Reuters 2019-04-17

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Looks like the cuddly rascal Mr Kim is up to his old Armageddon tricks again Mr Don do you still need Guam 🤔

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2 hours ago, jobsworth said:

what about Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction?

the evidence was photographs similar to these.

 

No it wasn't. Not at all. Or are you denying that North Korea has nuclear weapons? That this site manufactures them? In the runup to the Iraq War the agency responsible for checking on Iraq's weapons was very sceptical of US claims. That same agency is not sceptical now.

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  " a U.S. think tank " Now there is a contradiction in terms! Why is it OK for the US to have nuclear weapons and process fissile material, sell nuclear information and expertise to Saudi Arabia, protect the Israeli nuclear program, continually threaten the world with nuclear destruction, but cry like babies because North Korea chooses to retain their nuclear capabilities as a deterrent to the US world dominance madness?! What North Korea does in its own country is entirely their business. It isn't as if they are instigating regime changes and coups all over the world like some!

Edited by farq
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8 minutes ago, farq said:

  " a U.S. think tank " Now there is a contradiction in terms! Why is it OK for the US to have nuclear weapons and process fissile material, sell nuclear information and expertise to Saudi Arabia, protect the Israeli nuclear program, continually threaten the world with nuclear destruction, but cry like babies because North Korea chooses to retain their nuclear capabilities as a deterrent to the US world dominance madness?!

 

Because nuclear proliferation is bad.

 

 

8 minutes ago, farq said:

What North Korea does in its own country is entirely their business.

 

Is it really?  Tell that to the southeast Asian countries that set their post-harvest corn & sugar cane fields and palm plantations ablaze to clear them.  NK starving its own citizens isn't okay either, even though it's what they are doing in their own country.

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7 minutes ago, farq said:

  " a U.S. think tank " Now there is a contradiction in terms! Why is it OK for the US to have nuclear weapons and process fissile material, sell nuclear information and expertise to Saudi Arabia, protect the Israeli nuclear program, continually threaten the world with nuclear destruction, but cry like babies because North Korea chooses to retain their nuclear capabilities as a deterrent to the US world dominance madness?! What North Korea does in its own country is entirely their business. It isn't as if they are instigating regime changes and coups all over the world like some!

Erm.  Ah.  Hmmmm. Yes.

Forget "think. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, webfact said:

, a U.S. think tank said on Tuesday.

Who runs the think tank?

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1 minute ago, attrayant said:

 

Because nuclear proliferation is bad.

 

 

 

Is it really?  Tell that to the southeast Asian countries that set their post-harvest corn & sugar cane fields and palm plantations ablaze to clear them.  NK starving its own citizens isn't okay either, even though it's what they are doing in their own country.

So  sanctions against a regime that imposes non conformist  policy that  in real terms impacts only the citizens is  best humanitarian  counter policy?

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3 minutes ago, riclag said:

Who runs the think tank?

 

Do you need to know the political leanings of everyone before you can comment about their findings?

 

https://www.csis.org/programs/about-us

 

 

4 minutes ago, Dumbastheycome said:

So  sanctions against a regime that imposes non conformist  policy that  in real terms impacts only the citizens is  best humanitarian  counter policy?

 

Is that a rhetorical question?  Because I don't recall voicing that opinion.

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When  will  the  My  dick is bigger than your  dick" mentality  finally  be replaced with  "I am comfotable  with the fact that  my dick is acceptable to those  who  value  it". 

Dick  told me this wisdom.

He is  not an American so I believe her! 🤣

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1 minute ago, attrayant said:

 

Do you need to know the political leanings of everyone before you can comment about their findings?

 

https://www.csis.org/programs/about-us

 

 

 

Is that a rhetorical question?  Because I don't recall voicing that opinion.

Consider  your  opinion stating that it is the NK regime"  soley starving it citizens.  

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6 minutes ago, attrayant said:
13 minutes ago, riclag said:

Who runs the think tank?

 

Do you need to know the political leanings of everyone before you can comment about their findings?

 

https://www.csis.org/programs/about-us

Yes, When I googled -CSIS/Beyond Parallel/DigitalGlobe bias

It brought up a mix bag of links,here is just one of them

"In the aftermath of the Hanoi Summit, President Trump has been barraged with attempts to undermine his confidence in the good faith of Kim Jong Un and his intentions to deal fairly with the United States in the negotiation process concerning denuclearization and de-escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula". 

https://www.google.com/search?gl=us&hl=en&pws=0&ei=tTC3XPffDaDYz7sPodyUwA4&q=CSIS%2FBeyond+Parallel%2FDigitalGlobe+bias&oq=CSIS%2FBeyond+Parallel%2FDigitalGlobe+bias&gs_l=psy-ab.12...28837.32286..34117...0.0..0.130.578.0j5......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71j35i302i39j33i160.-y6zxTGiW3Y

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1 minute ago, Dumbastheycome said:

Consider  your  opinion stating that it is the NK regime"  soley starving it citizens.  

 

They are certainly not helping. If sanctions were eased, how much of the the incoming relief would go to the people?  The US was one of the primary benefactors of NK through the later part of the 20th century, giving over $1B in humanitarian aid in a 13-year span from 1995-1008

 

Yes - the regime is starving its people.  The precise adverb that should be used before "starving" is debatable.  

 

From the same think tank: Humanitarian Engagement with North Korea—Great Need but Increasingly Difficult

 

 

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