From the last week show movement satellite images at the main nuclear site of North Korea which could be related with the proceeding of radioactive material into bomb fuel, a US think tank said on Tuesday.
The latest chemical reprocessing activity would underscore the failure of a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in late February for making progress toward the denuclearisation of North Korea.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said in a report that satellite imagery of Yongbyon nuclear site in North Korea presented five specialized railcars from 12th April near its Uranium Enrichment Facility and Radiochemistry Laboratory.
It told their movement could suggest the transfer of radioactive material.
The report said, “ in the past, these specialized railcars appear to have been associated with the movement of radioactive material or reprocessing campaigns.” the report also added, “ the current activity, along with their configurations, does not rule out their possible involvement in such activity, either before or after a reprocessing campaign.”
But a familiar source of US government evaluations told that while US experts thought the movements could hopefully be related to chemical reprocessing, they were unsure whether it was significant nuclear activity.
A North Korean expert at the Stimson Center think tank, Jenny Town told that if reprocessing was occurring, it would be remarkable for the US -North Korean discussions in the past year and the failure to reach a resolution on the future of Yongbyon in Hanoi.
She said, “because there wasn’t an agreement with North Korea on Yongbyon, it would be interesting timing if they were to have started something so quickly after Hanoi ”.
The US President has met Kim twice in the past year to attempt to induce him to ditch a nuclear weapons programme which threatens the United States, but progress so far has been limited.
The Hanoi discussions collapsed after the US President approached a “big deal” in which sanctions on North Korea would be raised if it handed over all its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the United States. He declined biased denuclearisation moves offered by Kim, which included an offer to disassemble Yongbyon.
Although Kim has a chill in missile and nuclear tests since 2017, US officials say North Korea has persistent to produce fissile material which can be for use in bombs. Last month, a senior North Korean official alerted that Kim might ponder the test freeze unless Washington made allowances.