The United States has expressed concern over reports that North Korea has nearly completed construction of a new light water reactor.
On Tuesday, State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said that, although he could not discuss details, the construction of a light water reactor in North Korea would be a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.
The spokesman also called on Pyeongyang to abide by the denuclearization commitments under the 2005 joint six-party statement.
In 2005, the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan agreed on a communique, which included the North giving up all its nuclear weapons and programs.
Earlier this week, The Washington Post published satellite images that showed the North is close to finishing construction of its new nuclear reactor, with expert analysis that the exterior will likely be done within six to 12 months.
While the paper forecast it will take at least another two to three years before the power plant could be up and running, it noted Pyeongyang's capability to built its own nuclear facility.
What's worrisome about the light water reactor is whether the North plans to generate energy for peaceful use or produce nuclear bombs in line with its uranium enrichment program.
And in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, concerns are rising about North Korea's capacity to control a similar incident and minimize the spread of radiation.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.