Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A source at the U.S. State Department said Friday it shares the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding North Korea's nuclear activities, following comments from the U.N. agency regarding nuclear developments.
"We share the IAEA's views that [North Korea's] nuclear activities are a cause for grave concern," the source said, according to Voice of America.
On Thursday IAEA director general Yukiya Amano addressed what the agency has evaluated as the expansion of North Korea nuclear power generation.
"As far as the nuclear program of North Korea is concerned, I noted some developments that have taken place since my report in August. The agency continues to enhance its readiness to play an essential role in verifying the North Korea nuclear program if political agreement is reached between countries concerned," Amano said.
The IAEA chief said activity was detected at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center in North Korea.
"We have observed the fabrication of reactor components and possible transfer of these components into the reactor. But as we do not have the inspectors on the ground, we cannot determine the nature or objective of these activities," Amano said. "We have observed activities near the Koryong River related to the cooling infrastructure for the 5MW and light-water reactors. It is likely that the 5MW was shut down during these activities near the current river."
Amano has called on North Korea to allow international nuclear inspectors into the country.
On Friday the State Department said it supports the IAEA's role in North Korea denuclearization.
"Verification of any denuclearization agreement will be a difficult process that will likely include an important role for the IAEA given its globally recognize role as an independent, international nuclear verifier," VOA's source said. "The United States welcomes the IAEA Director General's 2018 report that accurately represents North Korea's ongoing nuclear activities and continued developments to its U.N.-proscribed nuclear program."
Washington has maintained North Korea sanctions will stay in place until Pyongyang has achieved complete and verifiable denuclearization.