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IAEA confirms shutdown of North Korean nuclear reactor

United Nation's nuclear watchdog confirms the shutdown of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

world Updated: Jul 16, 2007 14:14 IST

United Nation's nuclear watchdog on Monday confirmed the shutdown of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

"UN inspectors verified the shutting down of the reactor on Sunday," Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in Bangkok.

North Korea has co-operated with the inspectors, said ElBaradei, who described the shutdown as a "good step in the right direction".

Pyongyang said on Sunday that it had shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facilities after receiving the first shipment of heavy oil from South Korea, and allowed members of the IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the sealing of the facilities.

The Yongbyon reactor, located 90 km north of Pyongyang, is regarded as North Korea's leading nuclear research centre.

Under the February agreement reached during the six-party talks this year, North Korea pledged to shut down the reactor within 60 days in exchange for 50,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid.