US confirms N Korea disabling its Yongbyon reactor

October 18th, 2008 - 1:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington , Oct 18 (ANI): The United States has said that the Democratic People’’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has stuck to its promise of disabling its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon. Only last week, the United States had removed the nation from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The North Koreans have in their efforts reversed all their reversals in the reactor. All the seals are back on, the surveillance equipment is back, reinstalled. And the equipment that had been removed is back where it had been, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The United States had removed the DPRK from its terrorism list on October 11 after the two sides reached the agreement on verification measures over the latters nuclear program.

The removal followed a two-day trip to Pyongyang by U.S. chief negotiator to the six-party nuclear talks, Christopher Hill, earlier this month.

The talks took on new urgency after North Korea set off a test nuclear blast in 2006. It then agreed to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid and other concessions, though negotiations have since been beset by deadlock and acrimony.

North Korea had halted its nuclear disablement in mid-August in anger over what it called US delays in removing it from the terror list and began moves toward restarting its plutonium-producing facility. Over the weekend, the US said that it took the country off the terrorism blacklist because it had agreed to all U.S. nuclear inspection demands.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters the seals are back on the reactor, and that the North Koreans have removed 60 percent of the reactor rods from the facility. That puts them beyond where they were prior to their reversing the disablement, foxnews.com quoted him as saying.

The progress at the Yongbyon plutonium reprocessing plant came after North Korea ended a two-month boycott of a six-nation nuclear disarmament deal following the US removal of the country from a terrorism blacklist as an incentive.

On Tuesday, North Korea let UN monitors back into the nuclear site. A diplomat in Vienna familiar with the IAEAs work (in North Korea ) said the Agencys three-member team had resumed monitoring (on Tuesday).

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