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Published September 11, 2013, 02:44 PM

US institute: North Korea reactor appears to restart

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. research institute says North Korea appears to be restarting a plutonium reactor, in a move that could raise renewed international alarm over its nuclear weapons program.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. research institute says North Korea appears to be restarting a plutonium reactor, in a move that could raise renewed international alarm over its nuclear weapons program.

The five-megawatt reactor at Nyongbyon (nee-YUHNG'-bee-yuhn) was shuttered in 2007 under a disarmament agreement. Pyongyang (pyuhng-yahng) announced in April plans to restart it.

Without access to the secretive facility, it is difficult to say with certainty that the reactor is operating again.

But the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says an Aug. 31 commercial satellite image shows white steam rising from a building that houses steam turbines and electric generators that are driven by heat from the reactor.

The analysis was provided to The Associated Press ahead of its publication Wednesday.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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