UN inspectors have confirmed that North Korea has shut down its nuclear reactor, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday.
“Our inspectors are there. They verified the shutting down of the reactor yesterday,” International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei said.
“It’s a good step in the right direction,” ElBaradei said during a trip to Bangkok.
He told reporters that inspectors had verified the shutdown at one facility on Sunday, and that they hoped to check on another four facilities by Wednesday.
The inspectors are “working to verify the shutdown of the other four facitlities,” he said.
The closure is the North’s first step since 2002 towards ending its nuclear programme, which culminated in an atomic bomb test last October, and the first phase of a six-nation disarmament deal reached in February.
A row over US sanctions on the North’s bank accounts in Macau held up progress for months. The North finally agreed to move after it got its money back, and after South Korea delivered the first shipment of a total of 50,000 tons of fuel oil promised in compensation for the closure.
That shipment arrived Saturday along with IAEA inspectors and the North said the reactor was shut down the same day.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Temmuz 2007, 09:35