The United Nations nuclear agency says North Korea has completely
banned its inspectors from the country's main Yongbyon nuclear complex.
In 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 nuclear activities.
Thursday's decision expands the area that IAEA inspectors are barred from monitoring.
Last month, North Korea barred IAEA personnel from parts of the complex after it announced it was restarting its weapons-producing nuclear program.
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.
North 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.