Hours after reports that stated Pyongyang may have restarted a nuclear facility at Yongbyon, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US and China have agreed to "fully implement" sanctions against North Korea.
Kerry made the statement at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which began on Monday in Beijing, where the U.S. and China are engaged in talks over improving ties and ironing out concerns over the South China Sea.
Hankyoreh, an English newspaper based in Korea, quoted Kerry as saying that the U.S. would be pushing for North Korea to adopt a model like Iran's nuclear agreement. The newspaper noted that there are more takers inside and outside the Obama administration who believe that Iran had agreed to negotiate following heavy sanctions, and the U.S. is pushing for the "Iran model" to put an end to North Korea's nuclear proliferation.
China, which recently attempted to improve its relationship with Pyongyang, has agreed to implement sanctions agreed by global leaders, reports said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that the Yongbyon nuclear facility that provides plutonium for North Korea's Weapons Programme has been restarted, according to the BBC. Head of the IAEA has said that recent satellite images indicate "activities related to the five-megawatt reactor, expansion of enrichment facilities and activities related to reprocessing." There has also been vehicular movement at the site, and warm water is reportedly being discharged, which could indicate cooling operations.
The plant was reportedly closed in 2007, but was restarted in 2013.
North Korea has been pursuing its nuclear weapons programme despite sanctions against it by the United Nations, the European Union and the United States.