11 July 2007 An inspection team from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the next few days to implement agreements to monitor the shutdown and eventual abandonment of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities.
The IAEA received an invitation from the DPRK yesterday, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York today.
Late last month, IAEA inspectors visited Pyongyang and reached agreement with authorities regarding arrangements for the agency’s monitoring and verification of the shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facility and the reactor under construction in Taechon.
Earlier this week, the IAEA’s Board of Governors decided to dispatch inspectors after approving a report detailing the agency’s future activities in the Asian country.
“This is the beginning of a long and complex process, but I welcome the return of the DPRK to the verification process,” IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters after briefing the Board on 9 July.
Mr. ElBaradei predicted that the shutdown of the facilities should only take “a few days,” and cameras and other equipment will also need to be installed to monitor the sites.