IAEA inspectors leave DPR of Korea

31 December 2002

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) today while the Agency's governing board prepared to take up the issue next week.

The last two IAEA inspectors left the DPRK and travelled to Beijing. The Agency said it will keep an office in the country, and its equipment there has been placed in storage after an inventory was completed.

The 35-member Board is scheduled to meet on 6 January to consider a report from IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, who recently spoke about the next steps.

The inspectors – previously stationed at the nuclear facility in Nyongbyong – left following direct confirmation from DPRK officials that they should leave the country immediately, and that the DPRK had decided not to respond to Mr. ElBaradei’s letter urging Pyongyang to allow the monitors to remain at the site.

"This is a country in defiance of its international obligations," Mr. ElBaradei said on Saturday. "It sets a dangerous precedent for the integrity of the non-proliferation regime."

 

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