An insider testified that the North Korean authorities started restarting Yongbyon with the strategy of presenting only a ‘Yongbyon card’ even if renegotiations with the United States begin.
Earlier, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its September annual board of directors report published on the 27th (local time) on the 27th (local time) that ‘the nuclear reactor in the Yongbyon nuclear complex in North Pyongan Province, which had been suspended by North Korea, appears to have restarted since early July’. said.
In addition, the report said, ‘Circumstances have emerged, such as the release of cooling water, from the 5 MW (megawatt) reactor in the Yongbyon nuclear facility, which means restarting.’ It seems that the laboratory has also been activated,’ he explained. This means that plutonium extraction has begun.
In addition, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Secretary-General Rafael Grosi said at the IAEA board meeting held in Vienna on the 13th (local time) that “North Korea has witnessed a trend that appears to have removed the cooling system from the uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon.” This raises the possibility that it may have started extracting uranium, another raw material for nuclear bombs.
In the midst of this, according to a high-level insider inside Daily NK on the 15th, the North Korean authorities decided to restart the Yongbyon nuclear facility after about three years in order to solidify the meaning and importance of Yongbyon.
In other words, by proving that Yongbyon is still capable of producing a sufficient amount of nuclear material, it was intended to emphasize the significance of the Yongbyon nuclear facility and at the same time show that there is no nuclear facility more important than Yongbyon.
Earlier, during the Hanoi summit (February 2019), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un first presented a Yongbyon card to then-US President Donald Trump.
However, while demanding the lifting of some sanctions as a condition of shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear facility, negotiations broke down as President Trump counter-proposed the dismantlement of five additional nuclear facilities in addition to the Yongbyon nuclear facility.
However, it is said that North Korea did not temporarily operate its nuclear reactors simply as a demonstration.
“The restart of the reactor is actually an operation to produce plutonium and tritium,” another senior source said.
It was confirmed that it was focusing on the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and mass production for mounting on ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and related work.
On the other hand, it appears that North Korea has completed preliminary work, such as changing the name of the region and strengthening the security level, before resuming the operation of the Yongbyon nuclear facility in earnest.
This paper reported in May that the North Korean authorities had renamed the existing ‘Yongbyon Nuclear Physics District’ to the ‘First Military Fisheries Industry Nuclear Physics District’. (▶Shortcut to related articles: North Korea changes the name of the Yongbyon nuclear complex before the ROK-U.S. summit… Disruption of nuclear facilities?)
The designation of Yongbyon as ‘district 1’, which is the representative of the nuclear complex, is interpreted as emphasizing the importance of Yongbyon.
It is possible that the North Korean authorities attached the designation of the second and third nuclear facilities to strict confidentiality, or that they intended to designate only the first nuclear physical site from the beginning.
Source: DailyNK by www.dailynk.com.
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