Nuclear experts have begun removing fuel rods from North Korea's only nuclear reactor but the country will not meet a year-end deadline to disable the facility under a six-way denuclearization agreement, a news report said Monday.
Also Monday, China's top nuclear negotiator began a three-day trip to Pyongyang aimed at urging the communist regime to disclose its nuclear programs by the end of the year, Japan's Kyodo News agency reported, citing unnamed diplomats.
North Korea began disabling the reactor, which was shut down in July, and two other facilities last month under the watch of U.S. experts. Pyongyang has promised to complete the process by the end of December.
The transfer of the reactor's irradiated fuel rods into adjacent water pools began last week, Kyodo News agency reported. The report said the process is expected to take about 100 days, Kyodo said - meaning disablement would not be complete until March.
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