United States' top envoy on North Korea, on Monday, stated that the evidence of a new North Korean nuclear plant was provocative. But, he also toned down the fears that the region was on the brink of a nuclear crisis.
It is also another in a series of provocative moves, Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, said. He added that the latest evidence proves that North Korea has been in violation of United Nations resolution.
Bosworth was rushed to Seoul on Sunday, amid fresh reports of nuclear activity in North Korea. An American nuclear scientist who visited North Korea earlier this month told media that he was shown a vast new facility built to enrich uranium.
Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor, maintained that he was stunned by the sophistication of the new plant. Hecker, reported after his visit that the facilities appeared to be designed for civilian nuclear power and not aimed to boost North Korea's military capability. But he added that the uranium enrichment facilities could be readily converted to produce highly enriched uranium bomb fuel.
Meanwhile, on Monday, both Washington and Seoul discussed the issue of resuming the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the North. South Korea's chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-lac also reviewed Pyongyang's Uranium enrichment program during the meeting. The U.S. delegation is scheduled to travel to Tokyo and Beijing later for consultations.
North Korea in recent months announced willingness to rejoin the talks. Though China and Russia have proposed to restart the talks at the earliest, United States has refused to consider the request insisting for an appropriate response from the North on the nuclear activity.
There would be no talking just for the sake of talking, Bosworth told reporters.
North Korea is currently believed to have developed an arsenal of up to 12 weapons based on plutonium. Experts are wary of its ambitions and suggest that it is highly likely for Pyongyang to succeed in developing Hydrogen bombs rapidly.