IAEA chief criticizes North Korea, Iran, Syria

The chief UN nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei on Monday criticized North Korea for testing an atomic weapon, urged Iran to grasp America's proffered hand and Syria to cooperate with his agency's probe. ElBaradei said North Korea's course of nuclear confrontation is "the wrong step in the wrong direction." He asked Teheran to meet the US offer of direct dialogue with "goodwill and trust-building" and urged Syria to be "fully cooperative and transparent" with a probe of his International Atomic Energy Agency. ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, spoke to the agency's 35-nation board Monday.