Second IAEA team heading to North Korea | VailDaily.com
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Second IAEA team heading to North Korea

Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Austria – A second team of U.N. nuclear experts left for North Korea on Thursday to monitor the shutdown and sealing of the country’s sole operating reactor.The six-member International Atomic Energy Agency was expected to arrive in Pyongyang on Saturday.The experts are replacing an initial team that went to North Korea on July 12 to supervise the shutdown of the Yongbyon reactor, the key component of the North’s nuclear program.Team leader Ryszard Zarucki told reporters the group would stay for about two weeks.Officials said the team would put agency seals on parts of the complex that have been closed and supervise the installation of surveillance cameras, whose recordings will be regularly downloaded and analyzed.Last week, the IAEA confirmed that North Korea had shut down its sole functioning reactor at Yongbyon – the first tangible progress after years of negotiations involving the U.S. and other regional powers.Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei called it “an important step in the right direction, but only the first in a long journey.”The North exploded a test nuclear device in October, but four months later agreed to scrap its nuclear program in exchange for economic and political concessions in a deal with the U.S., Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.North Korea has begun receiving 50,000 tons of oil from South Korea as a reward for shutting down Yongbyon, which is located about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. It will eventually receive the equivalent of 1 million tons for disabling its nuclear facilities under the February agreement reached in the six-party talks.—On the Net:IAEA, http://www.iaea.org


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