N Korea agrees atom 'containment' with IAEA | world | Hindustan Times
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N Korea agrees atom 'containment' with IAEA

world Updated: Jul 03, 2007 17:33 IST

Reuters
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North Korea has agreed to "containment and surveillance" measures by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to verify a shutdown of its nuclear arms program, an IAEA report said on Tuesday.

The report by agency director Mohamed ElBaradei, which detailed results of a preparatory IAEA visit to North Korea last week, also recommended its 35-nation governing board approve the new mission at a meeting, widely expected next week.

The report, obtained by Reuters, described an 11-part "understanding" reached with the reclusive Communist state for a return of UN nuclear non-proliferation inspectors whom it kicked out 4 1/2 years ago.

"The agency will install, and service as necessary, appropriate containment and surveillance and other devices to monitor and verify the status of the shutdown and/or sealed facilities and equipment," the report said.

Inspectors would have access to all affected facilities, highlighted by the plutonium-producing Yongbyon atomic reactor, and Pyongyang would provide a list of sites mothballed. "The inventories will be provided later," the report said.

Further, inspectors would examine and verify information on the design of closed sites and document this with still photographs or video recordings. "Re-verification of such information will be performed periodically".

The report also said North Korea had agreed to inform the IAEA in advance if it intended to change the design or status of nuclear sites and equipment to see how this could affect safeguards monitoring.

North Korea would tell the IAEA ahead of time if it wanted to move nuclear-related or support equipment or components from shutdown facilities, and assure inspector access to them.

The cost of redeploying UN inspectors in North Korea was estimated at 1.7 million euros ($2.3 million) for 2007 and 2.2 million euros in 2008.

"It is the understanding of the director general that (IAEA) member states are ready to provide the agency with the necessary resources for this purpose," the report said.

Diplomats said the IAEA board was likely to convene a special one-day session on July 9 to approve the North Korea mission and a budget for it.