Sunday, Oct 12, 2008
North Korea said Sunday it would resume work to disable its plutonium-producing nuclear plants and readmit UN inspectors after the United States removed Pyongyang from a terrorism blacklist.
South Korea said Washington’s move had put the nuclear disarmament process back on track, after a six-party deal appeared close to collapse, but a Japanese minister strongly criticised the US decision.
“As the US fulfilled its commitment to make political compensation and a fair verification procedure…the DPRK (North Korea) decided to resume the disablement of nuclear facilities in Yongbyon and allow the inspectors of the US and the IAEA to perform their duties,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.
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The North had stopped work to make the Yongbyon plants unusable and had begun work to reactivate them becase of the dispute over nuclear “verification” inspections and its inclusion on Washington’s terrorism list.
Last week it barred inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, from the plants, which produced the fuel for a nuclear test in October 2006 and possibly for up to half a dozen atomic weapons.