Fears that North Korea is attempting to harvest weapons-grade plutonium after satellite images show ‘suspicious activity’ at nuclear complex

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
By Paul Martin

Satellite images show ‘suspicious’ activity at North Korea nuclear plant in the past month
Developments at Yongbyon site indicates plutonium production for atom bombs may be underway
Exhaust plumes detected on two or three occasions from the thermal plant in recent weeks

5 April 2016

North Korea may be attempting to produce weapons-grade plutonium for atomic bombs, after ‘suspicious activity’ is recorded at its main nuclear site.

Recent satellite images show developments at the site in Yongbyon which could mean reprocessing is under way to produce more plutonium, a U.S. research institute said on Monday.

In the past five weeks, exhaust plumes had been detected on two or three occasions from the thermal plant at Yongbyon’s Radiochemical Laboratory, the site’s main reprocessing installation to produce plutonium.

‘Exhaust plumes have rarely been seen there and none have been observed on any examined imagery this past winter,’ the report on the 38 North website said.

‘The plumes suggest that the operators of the reprocessing facility are heating their buildings, perhaps indicating that some significant activity is being undertaken, or will be in the near future,’ the report said.

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