The latest satellite picture of the primary nuclear facility of North Korea appears to show mysterious smoke coming out of one of the buildings of the plant. Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center of North Korea had ground all the operations at the facility for halting following a flood in the area.

The plant was under repair but on October 27, 2020, the satellite pictures appeared to show 'vapors or smoke coming from the top of a building', the think tank 38 North has stated. The images taken by Maxar Technologies satellites have led the analysts to believe that the building is a furnace, which is used for producing uranium dioxide.

Smoke at Nuclear Facility

Picture for representation
The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy. Reuters

Uranium dioxide is a material that can be made use of for the power plant fuel or further enriched for use in nuclear weapons or for just creating more effective fuel. The finding has puzzled analysts who claim that smoke or gas has never been seen in the uranium enrichment plant complex building before.

"The most puzzling observation is what the website calls gaseous effluent - i.e., vapors or smoke - coming from the top of a building in the uranium enrichment plant complex where such effluent has never before been observed," 38 North stated. "According to the analysts, the building is a refractory furnace used to produce uranium dioxide, a material that can be used for power plant fuel or further enriched for use in nuclear weapons or to simply create more efficient fuel," it added.

The photos show the nuclear site of Kim Jong Un has a new building, which is under construction in the area where research and administrative are housed. Many analysts have noticed specialized rail cars close to the nuclear plant have been deployed, which have reportedly been not used at the facility for months. Pyongyang has given an offer to dismantle the site during the denuclearisation negotiations with the US. The deal did not go through when Washington was not willing to trade dismantling of the site for relief from the economic sanctions against North Korea.