Reacting to news reports that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has restarted its nuclear reactor at Nyongbyong, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today deplored such moves and said restarting the “unsafeguarded” facility shows the country’s disregard for its treaty obligations.
“We are aware of press reports. We have observed through satellite imagery indications at the reactor; however, without the presence of inspectors, the IAEA is not in a position to verify whether the DPRK has restarted the reactor,” the Agency said in a statement released at its Vienna headquarters.
“However, if this is true, the IAEA deplores the operation of the DPRK’s nuclear facilities without the presence of safeguards inspectors,” the statement added. “Restarting this now unsafeguarded nuclear facility will further demonstrate the DPRK’s disregard for its nuclear non-proliferation obligations.”
The Agency also said its 35-member Board of Governors has confirmed that Pyongyang’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA remains “binding and in force.”