N Korea `shuts down` reactor

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Residents rest in a flooded and sand-bagged street in Anhui province [Reuters]
Residents rest in a flooded and sand-bagged street in Anhui province [Reuters]

IAEA team

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“North Korea has only one card in hand and that is its nuclear programme

Rahy, Tehran, Iran


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The 10-member team from the IAEA arrived in the North Korean capital on Saturday afternoon, coinciding with the docking of the tanker carrying fuel oil at Sonbong port.

Adel Tolba, the team`s chief, said they would stay in North Korea as long as needed to complete its work at the Yongbyon plutonium-producing reactor, about 120km northeast of Pyongyang.

Pyongyang will receive 50,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil for closing the facility and that will rise to one million tonnes once the whole nuclear programme is dismantled. 

The Soviet-era Yongbyon facility, which produced raw material for bomb-making plutonium, is at the heart of the North`s nuclear programme which culminated in its first atomic weapons test last October.
Six-party talks

The two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan will resume talks on Wednesday next week to discuss how Pyongyang proceeds towards full de-nuclearisation.

Christopher Hill, US nuclear envoy, said he expected the North to submit a list of its nuclear facilities within months, as was agreed upon in February`s round of talks.

“We expect the comprehensive list in a matter of several weeks, possibly several months,” he said.

Hill also stressed that the shutdown of Yongbyon was only the first step.

“I also don`t want people to think this shutdown is the biggest and only event.”

Source: News Agencies

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