North Korea nuclear disarmament starts today
July 14: A ten member team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headed by Adel Tolba reached North Korea on Saturday to monitor North Korea’s promise to halt her nuclear weapons program. In December 2002 North Korea expelled UN inspectors as a reaction to the US move of halting its oil supply.
Under February 13 agreement on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament North Korea got ready to shut down its main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon which is a Plutonium-producing reactor in exchange of fuel oil supply up to 1 million tonne and other financial and political aid. North Korea also promised to provide information about other nuclear facilities within months. As a part of this deal South Korea shipped 6,200 tonnes of oil to the north east port of Sonbong on Saturday.
The agreement was reached as a result of six-nation talks involving US, China, Japan, Russia and both the Koreas. Next round of talks is expected to be next week depending on the UN inspectors’ confirmation of the suspension of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor.
Talking about the next round of talks US envoy Christopher hill said that submission of the list of nuclear facilities would be a big issue. As North Korea did not pledge for any time-bound shut down Hill said that they will try to get a time schedule. This time talks will move beyond the mere suspension of the reactor to the complete dismantling of the nuclear program.
Since 2002 when North Korea conducted first underground test this is first step towards nuclear disarmament. After long negotiations country got ready this month to shut down her main reactor in response to the supply of fuel oil.
UN inspectors will be present on the site to assure the permanence of the suspension of nuclear program at Pyonbyon. It is estimated that Pyongyang has accumulated enough plutonium which can make ample number of nuclear weapons.
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