The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced Thursday that its observations of a North Korean nuclear complex revealed possible preparations for a reactor restart that could provide the country with weapons-grade plutonium, according to multiple reports.
IAEA inspectors were expelled from North Korea in 2009, but monitoring of the country has continued at a distance through satellite surveillance and other methods.
The IAEA's announcement added support to claims by the U.S. and South Korea in recent months that North Korea was restarting the facility.
North Korea announced in April that it was planning to restart its old reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. The plant had been partially dismantled in 2008 as a part of negotiations with China, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Russia.
North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests in the last seven years and is believed to possess a small arsenal of nuclear weapons.