USA: North Korea Agrees to Nuclear Moratorium

World | February 29, 2012, Wednesday // 17:27|  views

A view of Gaepung-gun county on the North Korean side of the Military Demarcation Line in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) seen from the Odusan observatory on Paju in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, 28 February 2012. EPA/BGNES

North Korea has agreed to implement a moratorium on its nuclear activities, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has announced.

Pyongyang will also allow inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog to verify the moratorium, Nuland said, Washington said Wednesday.

The announcement follows recent talks between US and North Korean diplomats in Beijing.

"To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization, the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities," Nuland said in a statement, as cited by DPA.

"The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities," she added.

Later on Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that its inspectors were ready to return to North Korea's nuclear facilities to monitor the nuclear moratorium announced by Washington.

'The announcement by the United States about its recent talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is an important step forward,' IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in a statement.

The Vienna-based agency had been monitoring a previous nuclear freeze until its inspectors were kicked out from North Korea in April 2009, shortly before the country's second nuclear weapons test.

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Tags: USA, North Korea, Victoria Nuland, US state department, Department of State, IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK, Beijing, Korean Peninsula


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