U.S. comments on potential restart of North Korean reactor

If North Korea restarted its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, the country would be in violation of its international commitments, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Thursday as part of a daily press briefing. Harf responded to a question about recent reports that North Korea may have restarted its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon. While Harf would not confirm the reports one way or the other, she addressed the hypothetical situation.

"If it were the case, (North Korea) would, of course, be in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and their commitments under the joint statement from September 2005," Harf said. "I'm just not going to comment on those one way or the other."

When asked about North Korea's recent statements that it would take some steps to build confidence if the Six-Party Talks resumed, Harf said the country committed on multiple occasions to abandon its nuclear program.

"I'd reiterate that the D.P.R.K. committed on numerous occasions, including in the September 2005 joint statement of the Six-Party Talks, to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing programs," Harf said. "That's a pretty broad commitment. The onus is, of course, on North Korea to take meaningful steps towards living up to those obligations."