N. Korea Agrees to Inspectors

Article excerpt

North Korea agreed on Saturday to meet with international inspectors to discuss how to handle the fuel that it is removing from a nuclear reactor.

The move came a day after the United States decided to resume high-level talks with North Korea after determining that it had met some U.S. demands for inspections.

U.S. officials also said that North Korea had not diverted any of the fuel removed recently from the reactor to nuclear arms production. But inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency are still seeking to measure fuel rods to determine if fuel was diverted several years ago.

North Korea's decision on Saturday raised hopes that the standoff on nuclear monitoring could be addressed at the negotiation table. The action came after months of warnings by the United States that it might seek economic sanctions and military threats by the North Koreans.

On Saturday, the North Korean government sent a telex to the monitoring agency expressing its "readiness to receive an agency consultation team." Experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency are scheduled to arrive in North Korea on Tuesday.

Sobered by months of on-again, off-again talks, the White House cautioned it was still possible that North Korea is determined to proceed with its nuclear weapons program and that negotiations could collapse. …


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