On the heels of yesterday's condemnation by the Security Council of its recent rocket launch, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) today asked United Nations inspectors at the nuclear reprocessing plant in Yongbyon to leave the East Asian nation immediately.
The DPRK informed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it will stop all cooperation with the UN agency without delay.
The country has requested the removal of all containment and surveillance equipment, which will be followed by the barring of inspectors from the Yongbyon facility.
“The DPRK also informed the IAEA that it has decided to reactivate all facilities and go ahead with the reprocessing of spent fuel,” the agency's spokesperson, Marc Vidricaire, said in a statement.
In 2007, the IAEA verified that the DPRK had closed the Yongbyon reactor, and since then, its inspectors had continued to monitor and verify the shutdown status.
In a presidential statement issued yesterday, the Security Council said it deems the DPRK's 5 April launch to be in contravention of resolution 1718, which demanded that the country “not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile,” following its claims to have conducted a nuclear test in October 2006.
“The Security Council demands that the DPRK not conduct any further launch,” according to yesterday's statement, which expressed the body's desire for a “peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation” and welcomed Member States' efforts to reach a “comprehensive solution through dialogue.”
It also said that it will adjust sanctions, imposed by the 2006 resolution, by the end of this month.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of the Council statement, “which sends a unified message of the international community” on the DPRK's launch.
Mr. Ban voiced hope in a separate statement that the Council's actions will “pave the way for renewed efforts towards the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues in the region, including through the early resumption” of inter-Korean dialogue and of the Six-Party Talks, which involve China, DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.