PN's Voice 83

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 83, 09-06-2016
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PN's Voice No. 83   09. 06. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Plant Reactivated say Nuclear Inspectors

North Korea appears to have reopened a plant that produces plutonium for its atomic weapons drive, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog. The regime in Pyongyang said last September that its Yongbyon reactor was operating and that it was working to improve the “quality and quantity” of its nuclear weapons. It has since carried out what is widely believed to have been a nuclear test.

The IAEA, which has no access to North Korea and mainly monitors its activities by satellite, said it had seen signs of a resumption of activity at Yongbyon, including at the main reactor. “Resumption of the activities of the five megawatt reactor, the expansion of centrifuge-related facility, reprocessing – these are some of the examples of the areas [of activity indicated at Yongbyon],” IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told a news conference during a quarterly IAEA board of governors meeting.

Plutonium extracted from spent nuclear reactor fuel can be used to build one kind of nuclear warhead, while uranium enriched by using centrifuges is used in the other main type of bomb. Little is known about the quantities of weapons-grade uranium or plutonium that North Korea possesses, or its ability to produce either, though plutonium from spent fuel at Yongbyon is widely believed to have been used in its nuclear bombs. The regime vowed in 2013 to restart all nuclear facilities, including the main reactor at its Yongbyon site that had been shut down.
Additionally, the website 38 North reported in April that exhaust plumes had been detected on two or three occasions in recent weeks from the thermal plant at Yongbyon’s Radiochemical Laboratory, the site’s main reprocessing installation. Similarly, the US national intelligence director said in February that North Korea could be weeks away from recovering plutonium from Yongbyon, telling the Senate armed services committee that it had also expanded its uranium enrichment facility there.
Source : The Guardian

Seoul Police say N. Korea Behind Series of Cyber Attacks

South Korean police said on Wednesday that North Korea was behind three separate cyber attacks carried out earlier this year, claiming the reclusive country sent a large number of malware-tainted emails by disguising the senders. Between January and February, North Korea sent a large number of emails to South Koreans, including local journalists, defectors and North Korea experts, said the National Police Agency (NPA), wrapping up their months-long investigation.

In late January, a link to a video clip, edited as if South Korean President Park Geun-hye was supporting the North's nuclear development, was distributed to 38,988 people. Police said the emails, which were disguised as if they were sent from local broadcasters, seem to be part of a propaganda campaign by the North. In the following month, more emails, pretending to be from a police officer, were sent to 48 people, including North Korean defectors and Pyongyang experts, asking for cooperation in the investigation of the fake video clip. Police said the emails contained viruses that could have infected the recipients' computers. In mid-January, a third email pretending to be from a South Korean expert on Pyongyang was sent to 83 people, including several local reporters. No damage has yet been reported due to this series of cyber attacks, the NPA said.

Police said checking the Internet Protocol address -- the online equivalent of a street address -- showed all the messages coming from North Korea's capital city. "Following the recent sanctions imposed on North Korea by the U.N. Security Council, it is likely that the North will continue to distribute malware through emails," a police officer said, urging citizens and organizations to be cautious. North Korea has a track record of waging cyber attacks on South Korea and the United States in recent years, though it has consistently denied any involvement.
Source : Yonhap News

N.K. Claims S.K. Violated its Territorial Waters & Airspace

North Korea on Thursday threatened to make a "merciless" retaliation against South Korea, claiming that Seoul repeatedly violated its territorial waters and airspace off its western coast. South Korea's reconnaissance drones made flights over the Yellow Sea along the de facto western maritime boundary on Tuesday and intruded three times into North Korea's territorial airspace to carry out aerial reconnaissance, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. It claimed the drones flew upwards of 10 kilometers into North Korean airspace.

The report also claimed that a South Korean Navy patrol boat and four fishing boats trespassed into the North's territorial waters five times on the same day. "The escalated military provocation is sure to incite a merciless counteraction," the KCNA said in a statement.

South Korean officials have told reporters that they are trying to reach out to Mr. Trump’s policy advisers in hopes of persuading him that the American military presence here benefits the United States as well as South Korea.

Pyongyang does not acknowledge the western sea border, widely known as the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which was drawn unilaterally by the U.S.-led United Nations Command when the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire.

The two Koreas had bloody confrontations in 1999, 2002 and 2009 along the NLL with the North shelling Yeonpyeong Island near the demarcation line in late 2010. Several months before the shelling a North Korean submarine torpedoed a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors.
Source : Yonhap News


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