U.S. and China concerned about nuclear reactor reports

The suspected restart of North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor has been met with concern in the U.S. and China.

The U.S. State Department said in Washington that the International Atomic Energy Agency report highlights the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy in order for the Korean Peninsula to become a nuclear weapons-free zone. The government in Beijing called on all parties in the nuclear dispute to seek a political solution.

The Atomic Energy Agency had earlier reported that the reactor at North Korea’s disputed Yongbyon nuclear center may have been restarted. This was indicated, among other things, by the discharge of cooling water. The reactor is small, with a capacity of only five megawatts, but it can supply plutonium to make nuclear bombs. Because of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the U.S. and its Western allies have imposed sanctions on dictator Kim Jong-Un’s country.