Several reliable sources are reporting a substantial and alarming development from Pyongyang, North Korea, and the North Korean Nuclear Program. Indeed the top US Envoy to North Korea, career diplomat Stephen W. Bosworth, former Ambassador to South Korea, left for the region on Sunday, November 21. The American Envoy will meet with South Korean Envoy Wi Sung-lac and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan to confer on ways to reverse this trend, and to resume stalled disarmament talks. Analysts still are professing a belief that Pyongyang’s nuclear missile ambitions are a ploy for leverage in negotiations.
The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security has released satellite photos confirming that an experimental light water reactor is being built at the Yongbyon nuclear site. Previously that site housed a program to isolate plutonium for nuclear weapons. Along with the photos, claims were made to US agents Siegfried Hecker and Robert Carlin by the ISIS, regarding the facility’s existence. This information re-opens fears as to North Korean intentions as leadership there transitions from Kim Jong ll to his son Kim Jong-un. Additional sources said that “a US nuclear scientist” saw hundreds of centrifuges this past month in North Korea.
American diplomat Jack Pritchard, a top North Korean expert who worked with both President Clinton and President G.W. Bush, said that North Korean officials told him the construction was in progress.
North Korea professes a desire to return to the negotiating table. It is generally believed that sanctions placed by the Obama administration are having a painful effect on the North Korean economy. Many in the West still believe that Pyongyang, by this display of nuclear capacity, is seeking to win concessions. International nuclear inspectors were expelled from North Korea some 18 months ago. North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006, and again in 2009. They are believed to have materials enough to build six to twelve atomic bombs.Powered by Sidelines