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Report: North Korea Will Allow UN Inspectors to Visit Nuclear Reactor


Japanese media say North Korea will allow United Nations inspectors to visit the main reactor at the center of its nuclear weapons program.

Olli Heinonen, the International Atomic Energy Agency's chief inspector, told Kyodo news Wednesday his team will visit the Yongbyon nuclear facility Thursday.

Heinonen's team arrived in Pyongyang Tuesday for a five-day visit - the first since the U.N. watchdog was expelled in 2002.

The team is trying to negotiate the closing of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor and its nuclear materials reprocessing plant.

Pyongyang agreed in February to start dismantling its nuclear weapons program by mid-April. But it missed the deadline, blaming a banking dispute with the U.S. that was finally resolved Monday.

South Korea's Unification minister Lee Jae-joung says Seoul will resume sending rice to North Korea June 30 because diplomacy seems to be sufficiently back on track.

He said South Korea will make sure the rice goes to the needy by monitoring its distribution with cameras and other recording equipment.

Seoul suspended the aid after Pyongyang test-fired several ballistic missiles last July.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP

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