January 14, 2020 12:25
Unusual activities have been detected near a 50-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon in North Korea over past years, according to website 38 North at Johns Hopkins University.
"Commercial satellite imagery... indicates a number of unusual activities have occurred around this site over the past several years. While the purpose is unknown, these activities are unlikely related to renewed construction," it said. "Some of the more notable developments have occurred in 2018 and 2019."
"In 2018, an 8 x 6 meter hole appeared in the roof of the reactor building sometime between February and June. A second circular structure was erected next to a small administrative or support building in December. The structure, approximately 4.5 meters in diameter, appears to be a water holding tank," it said.
"New trenching was noted around October 2019 underneath the southeastern security wall along with new excavation near the reactor building. Additionally, an adjacent building built in 2015 that was likely used for administration or support was razed in late October or early November 2019," it added.
The 50 MWe reactor at Yongbyon was reportedly dismantled in the mid-1990s.
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