No indication North Korea nuclear activities stopped: UN watchdog

People watch a South Korean television news presentation showing the dismantling of North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site on May 25. (AFP)
Updated 21 August 2018

No indication North Korea nuclear activities stopped: UN watchdog

  • ‘The continuation and further development of the DPRK’s nuclear program and related statements by the DPRK are a cause for grave concern’
  • The watchdog has stepped up monitoring through open source information and satellite imagery

VIENNA: The UN’s nuclear watchdog said it had not seen any indication that nuclear activities in North Korea have stopped despite its pledges to denuclearize.
“The continuation and further development of the DPRK’s nuclear program and related statements by the DPRK are a cause for grave concern,” said a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), referring to North Korea’s official name.
The report, published late Monday, by the director general of Yukiya Amano is to be submitted to an IAEA board meeting in September.
In 2009 Pyongyang expelled IAEA inspectors from its Yongbyon nuclear site and has since refused to allow IAEA inspections on its territory.
The watchdog has stepped up monitoring through open source information and satellite imagery, it said.
“As the Agency remains unable to carry out verification activities in the DPRK, its knowledge of the DPRK’s nuclear program is limited and, as further nuclear activities take place in the country, this knowledge is declining,” it said.
Between late-April and early-May, there were indications of the operation of the steam plant that serves the radiochemical laboratory at the Yongbyon site, according to the report.
However, the duration of the steam plant’s operation was not sufficient to have supported the reprocessing of a complete core from the experimental nuclear power plant reactor, it added.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump held a groundbreaking summit in Singapore in June.
At the meeting the pair struck a vague agreement to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, but there has been little movement since.
Before this, Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April for their first summit. They agreed to push for a declaration of an end to the Korean War this year.


Iraqi migrant found dead on northern French beach

Updated 27 min 39 sec ago

Iraqi migrant found dead on northern French beach

  • The body of the Iraqi Kurdish youth was discovered by a passerby on a beach in Le Touquet, about 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) south of the port of Calais
  • Over the past year, growing numbers of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia have taken to the treacherous waters of the Channel in small fishing boats or inflatable dinghies

LILLE, France: A 17-year-old Iraqi migrant was found dead Monday on a beach in northern France, local authorities said, as the number of migrants attempting to cross the Channel to Britain spirals.
The body of the Iraqi Kurdish youth was discovered by a passerby on a beach in Le Touquet, about 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) south of the port of Calais, long a rallying point for migrants hoping to stow away on a truck or ferry bound for Britain.
Twenty meters from the body, police found a small boat, “with two oars inside and a canister of fuel and a life vest nearby,” the region’s security department told AFP.
A similar boat was found some 450 meters from the scene but it was not clear if the two were linked.
Over the past year, growing numbers of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia have taken to the treacherous waters of the Channel in small fishing boats or inflatable dinghies.
Rights groups have linked the crossings to a police crackdown in Calais, which has made it harder for migrants to try climb aboard a passing truck.
On Monday, eight migrants were intercepted on a beach near Calais and taken to a shelter.
Maritime authorities in northern France counted 1,473 migrants who tried to reach Britain’s shores by sea between January and August this year, compared with 586 in all of 2018.
In August, two migrants were found dead in the Channel — an Iranian woman who drowned after falling out of a packed migrant boat and an Iraqi man who was found dead off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge after trying to swim to England.
The Iraqi migrant is believed to have set off from a beach in northern France, with currents dragging him into Belgian waters.