U.S. envoy for North Korea: reactor restart serious matter, if true

TOKYO Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:05am EDT

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies speaks to the media after meetings with Japanese officials including Junichi Ihara (not in picture), Japan's chief nuclear negotiator for North Korea and director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs, at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo September 12, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies speaks to the media after meetings with Japanese officials including Junichi Ihara (not in picture), Japan's chief nuclear negotiator for North Korea and director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs, at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo September 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

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TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. special envoy for North Korea said on Thursday the reported restart of a research reactor at North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear complex would be a serious matter if true.

A U.S. research institute and a U.S. official said on Wednesday satellite imagery suggested North Korea had restarted a research reactor capable of producing plutonium for weapons.

"These reports, I believe, are unconfirmed. What I can't do is comment on intelligence matters ... If it turns out these reports are true ... it would be a very serious matter ... It would violate a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions," Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies told reporters in Tokyo.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Rbert Birsel)

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