The United Nations nuclear agency says North Korea has completely
banned its inspectors from the country's main Yongbyon nuclear complex.
a statement Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that
it would no longer have access to Yongbyon. It also said North Korea
would no longer allow inspectors to monitor or verify any of its
Thursday's decision expands the area that IAEA inspectors are barred from monitoring.
month, North Korea barred IAEA personnel from parts of the complex
after it announced it was restarting its weapons-producing nuclear
In August, Pyongyang halted its disablement of the
plant after the United States refused to remove it from a blacklist of
states that sponsor terrorism.
The U.S. says it will remove the North from the list once it agrees to a program to verify its declared nuclear activities.
Also Thursday, South Korean news reports say North Korea is preparing to test
fire more short-range missiles, following a reported launch of two
missiles earlier this week.
According to the reports,
intelligence sources believe the North has deployed 10 missiles on
Chodo, a small island navy base off the peninsula's western coast. The
missiles include land-to-ship and ship-to-ship missiles.
Pyongyang has banned all ships from traveling near Chodo until October 15.
Korea reportedly fired two missiles from Chodo on Monday as part of a
military drill. The firings come at a time of increased tensions
between the two Korean rivals, and speculation about the health of
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.