DPR Korea cuts off UN atomic watchdog agency’s access to nuclear facilities

24 September 2008
IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will restart nuclear activities at its reprocessing plant in Yongbyon, shut down last year, and is terminating the United Nations atomic watchdog agency’s access to the facilities, it was announced today.

On Monday, Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that the DPRK had asked the body to remove seals and surveillance from the Yongbyon plant.

“This work was completed today. There are no more IAEA seals and surveillance equipment in place at the reprocessing facility,” the agency said in a news release.

The Asian nation’s authorities informed the IAEA that they will begin introducing nuclear material to the reprocessing plant in one week and that its inspectors are being barred from the site.

Last July, the agency verified that the Yongbyon plant had been taken off line.

At the time, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the shut-down as “a very important and encouraging step.”


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