An official from Seoul who requested to remain anonympus has revealed that the U.S., South Korea, and Japan will be holding trilateral talks in Tokyo to discuss the possible nuclear threat coming from North Korea. This is in reaction to North Korea’s light-water reactor project.
The reactor in question is located in Yongbyon, 55 miles north of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, a site of a former plutonium-producing reactor. The plant was shutdown in 2007 as part of an international disarmament deal. North Korea later abandoned this deal and in 2010 revealed to two visiting U.S. scientists a new light-water reactor also at Yongbyon. North Korea has indicated that it will build a uranium enrichment plant to provide power for the reactor, ostensibly insisting that the reactor is only for civilian purposes. Experts, however, warned that the uranium could also be used to produce nuclear weapons. Pyongyang has previously made use of plutonium for its nuclear weapons programme and held two nuclear bomb tests in 2006, causing an uproar in the international community. Recent satellite photos revealed that a dome has now been placed on top of the reactor building. Analysts said that while it will take several more years for the facility to be completed, this dome is a significant development.
The three countries that will be meeting next week are also part of the six-party talks that was started to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The talks however have been dormant since 2008. The other three countries are China, Russia, and North Korea itself.[ via Yonhap News Agency ]