IAEA positive following N Korea trip

15 March 2007

Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA director general, has described a recent visit to North Korea as an “overall door opener,” improving the rocky relationship between Pyongyang and the UN inspectors.

Korea was invited to return to the IAEA as a member state, but talks focused on the IAEA´s initial monitoring and verification role for the shut down of nuclear facilities in the country.

ElBaradei said Korea was “fully committed” to February’s Six-Party agreement and would allow IAEA personnel in once other parties take action on their own commitments as set out in the deal.

The next step for the IAEA will be to reach an agreement on specific technical arrangements for monitoring and verification.

On the issue of Iran ElBaradei recently said that the IAEA continued to be in a “stalemate” when it came to verification of its nuclear programme and that it was not in a position to resolve “outstanding issues of concern.”

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