UN, N. Korea agree on monitoring reactor shutdown

June 30, 2007 06:58


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North Korea has moved a step closer to fulfilling a promise to shutter its main nuclear reactor, after reaching an agreement with international monitors on how to verify a shutdown. International Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director Olli Heinonen announced the tentative deal Friday after wrapping up a visit to the North, which included the UN nuclear watchdog's first trip to the Yongbyon reactor since inspectors were expelled from the country in 2002. Heinonen said Saturday upon arrival in Beijing that North Korea and the five other countries involved in international talks on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear programs should meet next to discuss technical details of the shut down and related deliveries of economic aid. "The next logical step is that they talk with each other and agree on technical arrangements," Heinonen said. "The IAEA doesn't have any role in that."

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