IAEA concerned about development of North Korea's nuclear program

    WORLD  05 June 2023 - 19:32

    General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Raphael Grossi has stated that the organization is concerned with the continuation of the nuclear program in North Korea in spite of the UN Security Council resolutions.

    The organization records the continuing activity at North Korean nuclear facilities, he said at the opening of the session of the Board of Governors of the agency, TASS reports.

    According to Grossi, the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri is still ready for nuclear testing, and the IAEA continues to observe signs of activity there.

    The head of the agency specified that since March 2023, the IAEA had been observing signs of the operation of nuclear facilities and a considerable increase in the amount of construction work at the Yongbyon test site. He stressed that these actions by North Korea violate relevant UN Security Council resolutions and are deeply regrettable.

    North Korea became a member of the IAEA in 1974. In 1979, the construction of the first gas-graphite nuclear reactor capable of producing plutonium began in the country. On August 14, 1985, the reactor reached criticality, since 1986 it began to function.

    In April 1985, North Korea signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Since 1990, IAEA inspections have begun at the country's nuclear facilities. From 1992 to 1994, six inspections were carried out, the results of which caused some doubts on the part of the IAEA. On February 11, 1993, IAEA Director General Hans Blix took the initiative to conduct a "special inspection" in the DPRK.

    Ten days later, the DPRK Atomic Energy Minister informed the IAEA of his country's refusal to allow this inspection, and on March 12, of the decision to abandon the NPT. In 1994, the country withdrew from the IAEA.

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