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IAEA inspectors head for DPRK to verify shutdown of nuclear
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09:44, July 13, 2007

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UN inspectors left for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday to verify and monitor the shutdown and sealing of nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, a diplomat in Vienna said.

A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would make a short stop in Beijing and then fly to Pyongyang on Saturday, the diplomat told Xinhua.

On Tuesday, the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog said in a statement that the IAEA had received an official invitation from the DPRK and an inspector team would leave for the country "within the next few days."

The team would monitor and verify the shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities as agreed between the IAEA and DPRK and approved by the agency's board of governors, said the statement.

An IAEA delegation, headed by the agency's Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen, visited Pyongyang in late June and reached a consensus with the DPRK on the procedure for the shutdown of the reactor.

At a special session on Monday, the IAEA's board of governors approved a report submitted by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei on the mission in Yongbyon.

The ratification of the report provided the legal basis for the IAEA's new mission.

Source: Xinhua

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