Accessibility links

UN Nuclear Monitors Set to Return to North Korea


The International Atomic Energy Agency says it plans to send a team of inspectors to North Korea later this week to monitor the shutdown of Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons program.

Diplomats say the mission must first be approved by the agency's 35-nation board, which is holding a special meeting Monday in Vienna.

While authorization is a virtual certainty, the question of funding for the North Korean mission, and of the agency in general, is still to be decided.

Diplomats say the North Korean monitoring mission will cost close to $5 million over two years, and that Washington is prepared to provide much of the funding.

North Korea has agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon in exchange for fuel aid and other political concessions.

Last week, South Korea's Unification Ministry said it plans to ship 6,200 tons of heavy fuel oil to North Korea's Sunbong port on Thursday.

The rest of a 50,000-ton aid package - agreed at the six-party talks in February - is to be delivered next month.

IAEA inspectors traveled to North Korea recently for the first time since they were expelled in 2002.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG