Russia warns over N.Korea work at 'nightmarish' reactor
TV footage from the National Chinese Television channel shows a cooling tower at North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear complex shortly before it was demolished on June 27, 2008. Russia has warned that North Korea is apparently conducting work on the nuclear reactor, saying the aged facility was in such a "nightmarish state" it could cause a disaster.
"It is obvious that some works are being conducted, and for a long time at that. According to some signs, steps were indeed being taken to relaunch it," the Interfax news agency quoted a diplomatic source as saying.
The source said that Russia did not have definite information that Pyongyang had restarted the plutonium reactor at Yongbyon, as US analysts have suggested based on satellite imagery, but warned of dire consequences if this happened.
"We do not have any information that the reactor has been relaunched," the source said.
"Our main concern is linked to a very likely man-made disaster as a consequence. The reactor is in a nightmarish state, it is a design dating back to the 1950s."
"For the Korean peninsula this could entail terrible consequences, if not a man-made catastrophe."
The white steam picked up by satellites rising from a building next to the reactor "could simply be testing of the generator," the diplomatic source cautioned, however.
In a separate dispatch, Interfax cited a diplomatic source as saying there was little hope for constructive talks on North Korea's nuclear programme.
"The North Koreans are saying 'We are ready to renew talks,' but it's not clear what about," the source said.
"So far the situation is complicated."
MORE REGIONAL NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
The Gulf Cooperation Council hailed the "new orientation" of Iran's leadership and urged that "concrete measures" towards regional peace fo... More The Gulf Cooperation Council hailed the "new orientation" of Iran's leadership and urged that "concrete measures" towards regional peace follow. Duration: 00:50
Date 10 mins ago, Duration 0:49, Views 0