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South Korea Says North Creating Crisis Over Nuclear Sampling Issue


South Korea's foreign minister says the North maybe trying to extract more concessions from the nations involved in negotiations over the regime's nuclear program.

Yu Myung-hwan told reporters in Seoul Thursday that Pyongyang usually creates a crisis over a certain issue, and uses it to receive more aid before resolving the matter.

North Korea on Wednesday said it will not allow international inspectors to take samples from its nuclear facilities. The regime says it had only agreed to nuclear sit visits by experts, and that anything more stringent would violate the country's sovereignty.

But a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Robert Wood, says the six-nation nuclear verification accord North Korea agreed to last month clearly allows sampling.

The spokesman told reporters Wednesday the regime has not yet prevent prevented any samples from being removed, and that discussions on the issue will continue with Pyongyang.

The verification process has been a persistent challenge for the countries trying to persuade North Korea to end its nuclear program.

North Korea has agreed to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid and other benefits from the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan. Pyongyang has shut down its main nuclear reactor and committed to fully disable the facility in return for one million tons of fuel oil or equivalent aid.

The Yongbyon reactor is the source of plutonium for North Korea's nuclear weapons.

The State Department spokesman says the U.S. will ship 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil to North Korea later this month and in early December. He said Washington is fully upholding its part of the action-for-action agreement.



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



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