North Korea fires ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan

25 March 2014

North Korea is believed to have launched two No Dong ballistic missiles on 26 March. The No Dong was seen on a transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle with five axles at a military parade in Pyongyang in late 2010. Source: PA

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on 26 March: the latest in a series of test launches.

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that two missiles were launched from the Sukchon region at 02.35 and 02.42 local time respectively. It added that the launches were in violation of “UN Security Council Resolutions [UNSCR] 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013), which prohibit North Korea from all activities related to ballistic missile programmes.” Continue reading

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Experts warn of ‘Chernobyl’ risk at Yongbyon nuclear plant

Sebastien Falletti, Seoul – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

26 January 2014

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Satellite imagery taken in May 2013 of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre in North Korea. (IHS/DigitalGlobe)

North Korea’s decision to restart its 5 megawatt electric (MWe) reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear scientific research complex threatens Northeast Asia with a disaster potentially worse than Chernobyl, according to nuclear experts.

“This reactor comes from another world. The Yongbyon site has a concentration of so many nuclear facilities that if there was a fire in one building it could lead to a disaster worse than the Ukrainian one,” said Seo Kyun Reul, a professor at the nucleonic department of Seoul National University.

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Satellite images suggest North Korea restarted small nuclear reactor, U.S. institute says

English: Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research ...

English: Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, North Korea – Fuel fabrication facility. Siegfried Hecker examining machining lathes removed from machine shop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Chico Harlan,

SEOUL — Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea has restarted a small nuclear reactor, allowing the secretive nation to potentially bolster its stockpile of plutonium for weapons, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.

The North had said five months ago that it would restart key operations at its Yongbyon nuclear facilitywithout delay.” The report from the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies indicates that it is quietly going ahead with that pledge — and facing few apparent problems in firing up a reactor mothballed for six years.

Commercial satellite images from Aug. 31 show two plumes of white steam rising from a turbine building adjacent to the reactor. That steam is an essential byproduct of the reactor’s operation, and its venting suggests the “electrical generating system is about to come online,” the report said.

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