Kim Jong Un with his late uncle before he was murdered.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has a trip planned to Putin’s Russia in the coming months.
NBC News reported:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has confirmed he will attend celebrations in Russia in May marking the Soviet victory over Germany in World War II, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday. The trip would be Kim’s first foreign visit since taking power in the reclusive state in 2011, succeeding his father Kim Jong Il, and is likely to come before he visits China, the North’s main ally.
North Korea and Russia have been looking to boost ties. The North’s relations with China, on the other hand, have cooled since Kim took over and then, in 2013, defied international warnings and U.N. sanctions to conduct a third nuclear test. Russia, however, has pushed ahead with plans for natural gas and transport projects with the North.
Jan. 2, 2015: U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies shows an annotated satellite photo indicating signs of new activity at the 5 MWe Plutonium Production Reactor at North Korea’s Nyongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center. (AP)
The North Korean regime is also attempting to restart the idle Nyongbyon nuclear reactor.
FOX News reported:
North Korea may be attempting to restart its main nuclear bomb fuel reactor after a five-month shutdown, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.
If true, the finding, which is based on recent commercial satellite imagery, will be an added worry for the United States and the North’s neighbors at a time of increasing animosity over recent U.S. sanctions against the North and Pyongyang’s fury about a U.N. push to punish its alleged human rights abuses.
Activity at the 5-megawatt Nyongbyon reactor is closely watched because North Korea is thought to have a handful of crude nuclear bombs, part of its efforts to build an arsenal of nuclear tipped missiles that could one day hit America’s mainland. Nyongbyon, which has produced plutonium used for past nuclear test explosions, restarted in 2013 after being shuttered under a 2007 disarmament agreement. It has been offline since August.
Possible signs in satellite imagery from Dec. 24 through Jan. 11 that the reactor is in the early stages of being restarted include hot water drainage from a pipe at a turbine building that indicates steam from the reactor and growing snow-melt on the roofs of the reactor and turbine buildings.
The United States also rejected a recent North Korean offer to impose a temporary moratorium on its nuclear tests if Washington scraps its annual military drills with Seoul; Pyongyang claims those drills are invasion preparation. The U.S. called the linking of the military drills, which it says are defensive and routine, with a possible nuclear test “an implicit threat.”