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US envoy says restart of North Korean nuclear reactor would be 'very serious matter'

A U.S. special envoy has said that any move by North Korea to restart a nuclear reactor would be a "very serious matter" and violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.

A U.S. research institute said Wednesday that a recent satellite image appears to show North Korea is restarting its plutonium reactor at the Nyongbyon nuclear facility, which was shuttered in 2007 under the terms of a six-nation disarmament agreement.

U.S. special envoy for North Korea Glyn Davies told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday that if the report is true, it would be a violation of North Korea's past commitments.

North Korea threatened in April to restart the reactor but has since toned down its inflammatory rhetoric and stepped up diplomacy with rival South Korea.