S. Korea to send nuclear experts to N. Korea

South Korea will send a team of nuclear experts to North Korea this week to survey Pyongyang's unused fuel rods, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The delegation led by Hwang Joon-kook, Seoul's No. 2 nuclear envoy for the disarmament talks on the North's nuclear weapons programs, will fly to the North on Thursday, the ministry said in a statement. The ministry did not say how long the delegation will stay in the North. Hwang will be the highest-level South Korean official to visit Pyongyang since the North suspended reconciliation talks and some landmark joint projects with the South in protest of Seoul's hard-line policy toward the North. Despite the soured relations, the two Koreas met at the international disarmament talks that also involve the United States, China, Russia and Japan. During the trip, the South Korean experts will examine technological and economic factors over the unused fuel rods, the ministry said.