North Korea heading towards further isolation: US

April 16th, 2009 - 12:24 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 15 (DPA) North Korea has taken a step towards further isolation by ending its cooperation with UN and US nuclear inspectors and requesting them to leave the country, the US State Department said Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the US team in North Korea to verify the disablement of the Stalinist country’s nuclear programme was making plans to leave at Pyongyang’s request.

“In taking these decisions, the North is going to have to deal with the consequences of such decisions,” Wood said. “They just bring upon themselves further isolation from the international community.”

Wood would not discuss the consequences North Korea could face by kicking out the inspectors, but said the issue will be taken up by the US and other countries involved in the six-nation disarmament talks with Pyongyang.

“We all have that goal of trying to bring about a denuclearised Korean peninsula. We want to see that happen,” Wood said.

“But, again, the North took this decision. It’s going to have to deal with the consequences that flow from that decision.”

The UN nuclear watchdog - the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - also confirmed Wednesday that its inspectors were readying to leave.

North Korea announced Tuesday that it would no longer participate in the six-nation talks and would end the inspections in response to a UN Security Council statement Monday condemning Pyongyang’s April 5 rocket launch.

North Korea said the launch was to place a communications satellite in space while the US, Japan and South Korea viewed it as a front for testing ballistic missile technology.

North Korea agreed in September 2005 to eliminate its nuclear weapons programme in return for better diplomatic ties and humanitarian aid. That agreement came about through six-nation talks involving China, Japan, Russia, the US and two Koreas.

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