Signs of Nuclear Test Ground Restoration Observed

Park In Ho  |  2008-10-01 16:12
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Activities which might represent an attempt to restore the location for nuclear experimentation in Poongkye-ri, Kilju, North Hamkyung Province, where North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon two years ago, have been captured by a South Korean intelligence organization and are being elaborately analyzed.

A comment from a source within the South Korean administration was quoted on Wednesday by Yonhap News, a South Korean news agency, as saying, Smoke ascending around the nuclear experiment place in Poongkye-ri was captured and we are monitoring precisely whether North Korea is attempting to restore the nuclear testing ground.

The Souths intelligence agency assumes that smoke around the testing ground was generated by the destruction of equipment or clothes by fire. It is analyzing whether or not this move is connected to the resurrection of the Yongbyon facilities.

This move also is attracting attention, with analysts wondering whether it is related to Christopher Hills October 1st visit to North Korea.

After the nuclear test on October 9, 2006, when North Korean Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan met with Christopher Hill in January, 2007, North Korea repaired the gangways of the testing ground in Poongkye-ri and carried in equipment.

When the second phase measures for North Korean nuclear disablement were under debate at the Six Party Talks in October of the same year, wire entanglements were constructed and the military guard at the facility was reinforced.

An affiliate with the South Korean intelligence agency said that We dont have anything confirmed yet. Ostentatiously showing activity at such locations is often a bargaining tool to create an acute crisis atmosphere.

Agreements pertaining to the second phase of the Six Party Talks cover the 5MW nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, reprocessing facilities and fuel rod manufacturing facilities as the targets of nuclear disablement, but the testing ground facilities at Poongkye-ri are excluded from it.
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