Rendering North Korea's sole nuclear reactor unusable will take at least until late February because of technical delays, a news report said Sunday.
US and South Korean officials had earlier expressed confidence that disabling the reactor in Yongbyon could be completed by the end of 2007 under an agreement between North Korea and five other nations.
But safety concerns over removing the fuel rods from the reactor have delayed the process, and disablement will take at least until late February, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing unnamed people close to the process.
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