North Korea 'Restarting Its Reactor'
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says activity has been observed at a North Korean nuclear reactor, consistent with an effort to restart it, reports Voice of America.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told the agency's 35-member board Thursday that North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear complex appears to have re-started its reactor. But the agency says without access to the site, IAEA inspectors cannot draw a definite conclusion.
North Korea destroyed the cooling tower at Yongbyon in 2008 as a confidence-building measure in talks with South Korea, China, the United States, Japan, and Russia.
But in September, a U.S. research institute said satellite imagery of the site showed activity that could mean North Korea is reviving the reactor.
Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday that Iran and North Korea were testing new booster engines for ballistic missiles.
“While the president was undertaking his secret negotiations—which Congress wasn’t informed of—he had to know Iran and North Korea were testing new engines for ballistic missiles to target the United States,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.) chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces.
“Every day the president’s deal looks worse and worse,” Rogers said in response to a report Tuesday revealing that Iran is covertly working with North Korea on a new 80-ton rocket booster that can be used in both nations’ long-range missile programs.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) also criticized the P5+1 countries’ Iran nuclear deal for not addressing the threat of Iran’s ICBM program.
“The Iranian regime is clearly demonstrating through word and deed that they have no intention of moderating the behavior that earned them one of the harshest international programs of economic sanctions on record,” Cruz told the Washington Free Beacon. “Relaxing the sanctions now only encourages them to continue their pursuit of nuclear weapons–and the means to deliver them to Israel, Europe and even the United States. I hope President Obama and Secretary [of State John] Kerry will reconsider this dangerous policy and add the immediate cessation of their ICBM program to the list of prerequisites placed on Iran before any additional negotiations take place.”