VIENNA - North Korea has made "significant progress" in the construction of a light water atomic reactor over the past year, a UN watchdog report said, a facility that may extend Pyongyang's capacity to produce material for nuclear weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), citing satellite images, also said "certain activities" had been observed at locations where the reclusive Asian state "reportedly" conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

But "without access to the locations the agency is unable to provide a technical assessment of the purpose of these activities or of whether nuclear material is being used", the annual report, issued to IAEA member states on Thursday, said.

North Korea is believed to be pushing ahead with plans to conduct a third nuclear test.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger