IAEA to install monitoring equipment at Yongbyon complex
Experts from the UN nuclear watchdog will install monitoring equipment at five North Korean nuclear facilities in the next few weeks as part of an international effort to fold Pyongyang’s nuclear program, a Russian diplomat said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Wednesday that North Korea had closed all the facilities at its main nuclear complex at Yongbyon, 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the capital Pyongyang, in addition to its only operating reactor, which was a source of weapons-grade plutonium.
“IAEA experts have sealed the facilities and taken other relevant steps [to shut them down completely],” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin, citing an IAEA report.
“They [the experts] are planning to install monitoring equipment [at the facilities] in the next few weeks,” Kamynin said.
The Yongbyon complex consists of an operational five-megawatt nuclear reactor, a plutonium-extraction plant, a nuclear fuel production facility and research labs. The site also contains a 50-megawatt reactor whose construction was suspended under a 1994 nuclear deal with the United States.
Meanwhile, the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament ended Friday without setting a deadline for the next steps in preventing the North from developing nuclear weapons, but participants reaffirmed their commitment to push forward with the process.
Envoys from China, Japan, Russia, the U.S. and the two Koreas have agreed to schedule meetings for working groups to discuss how to disable North Korea’s nuclear facilities by the end of August and to hold the next round of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program in early September, followed shortly thereafter by a ministerial meeting.
Source: RIA Novosti