SEOUL - North Korea has resumed construction work on an experimental light water reactor (ELWR) in a move that could extend its capacity to produce more material for nuclear weapons, website 38North reported on Thursday.

Based on April 30 satellite images, work halted in December at the reactor had now re-started, said the website, run by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University and former US State Department official Joel Wit.

The construction activity comes as Pyongyang has stepped up progress towards conducting a third nuclear test, perhaps using highly enriched uranium for the first time, despite warnings from the United States and China.

"Pyongyang's construction of an ELWR - which the North Koreans have indicated is the prototype for additional reactors - as well as a uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon, is an important indication of the North's intention to move forward with the expansion of its nuclear weapons stockpile in the future," 38North said.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger