Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - North Korea still building at nuclear site: monitor

North Korea still building at nuclear site: monitor

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Unused fuel rods sit stacked in a warehouse at North Korea’s nuclear complex in Yongbyon in 1992. South Korean Foreign Ministry/afp

North Korea still building at nuclear site: monitor

NORTH Korea is carrying out rapid improvements to its nuclear research facility, a monitor said on Wednesday, despite declaring a commitment to denuclearisation of the peninsula at the Singapore summit.

The nuclear-armed North’s leader Kim Jong-un promised to “work toward” the goal at a landmark summit in the city-state earlier this month with US President Donald Trump. But the Singapore meeting failed to clearly define denuclearisation or produce a specific timeline towards dismantling the North’s atomic weapons arsenal.

Trump claimed the process would start quickly, saying last week that “It will be a total denuclearisation, which is already taking place”.

But recent satellite imagery showed that not only were operations continuing at present at the North’s main Yongbyon nuclear site, it was also carrying out infrastructure works, said the respected 38 North website.

“Commercial satellite imagery from June 21 indicates that improvements to the infrastructure at . . . Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center are continuing at a rapid pace,” it said.

It noted “continued operations” at the North’s uranium enrichment plant and several new installations at the site – including an engineering office and a driveway to a building housing a nuclear reactor. But continued operations at the site “should not be seen as having any relationship with North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise”, it added.

Nuclear officials could be “expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang”, it said.

The North last month blew up its aged but only nuclear test site at Punggye-ri – where it had staged six tests – in a show of goodwill before the summit. But Pyongyang has kept its counsel on the denuclearisation issue since the meeting, although state media have dialled down propaganda against the US, long dubbed the “imperialist enemy”.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea