IAEA prepares for possible return of nuclear inspectors to DPRK


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies during a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Feb. 29, 2012. Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the agreement of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to suspend its nuclear activities was a “modest first step”. <Photo: Xinhua>

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday reiterated its readiness to send back nuclear inspectors to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) , but said  no invitation has been received from the country.

“We have no direct contact, but we are preparing for a possible return,” said the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at a press conference after opening the 35-nation IAEA board meeting in Vienna.

The DPRK said last week that it will suspend nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and uranium enrichment activities as part of an agreement made with the United States.

The DPRK also agreed to allow IAEA inspectors’ return to the country to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Nyongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities.

A return of inspectors would be possible within a few weeks, if there is an invitation from Pyongyang and the IAEA board of governors approval, said Amano.

The DPRK expelled the IAEA inspectors in April 2009. <Xinhua>


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