North Korea’s nuclear activity is still a “serious concern” as the rogue hermit kingdom continues to enrich uranium, which can be used to make atomic weapons.
This was revealed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations watchdog group, in a report that was released on Tuesday. The agency wrote in the report that North Korea’s actions are a “clear violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”
The report went on to say that the Yongbyon site, which had long been the epicenter of the country’s nuclear program, has likely been shut down since 2018. The agency added that no plutonium has been produced there in the past year.
“No operation of the plant that provides the steam necessary for reprocessing activities was observed. Therefore, it is almost certain that no reprocessing activity took place and that the plutonium produced in the 5MW(e) reactor during the most recent operational cycle has not been separated,” the report stated.
Though the agency has not been allowed in North Korea since it was expelled back in 2009, it has kept an eye on the rogue nation by analyzing satellite imagery and using open source information to track North Korea‘s nuclear program.
Even so, the agency has admitted that the quality of information it has been able to get about North Korea’s nuclear program is “declining” because the agency has been locked out of the hermit nation for over a decade.
“Knowledge of the DPRK’s nuclear program is limited and, as further nuclear activities take place in the country, this knowledge is declining,” the report said.
This comes after it was reported that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has ordered his troops and police to shoot anyone who goes within a kilometer (0.6 miles) of the country’s border with China.
The U.K. Express reported that this move is meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. Until very recently, North Korea denied having any cases of coronavirus at all. It was only last month that Kim finally admitted that coronavirus “could have entered” the country.
One resident of North Korea’s Hamgyong province said that they had been told that the policy “will be in effect along the entire North Korea-China border until the coronavirus pandemic ends.”
“Police in the city of Hoeryong issued an emergency notice from the Ministry of Social Security, saying they would kill anyone within a kilometer of the North Korea-China border regardless of their reason for being there,” the resident explained. “After announcing the declaration, the police department told the public, ‘The coronavirus has spread everywhere except our country, so the enemy is trying to infiltrate the border by sending the virus across it.'”