IAEA, North Korea
Evert Elzinga/AP
IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei

North Korea Sees Promises Broken, Reverses Course on Denuclearization

September 24, 2008 01:22 PM
by Emily Coakley
North Korea, which had been taking its nuclear program apart, is moving toward restarting it; the U.S. calls the move “disappointing.”
North Korea expelled International Atomic Energy Agency officials from one of its plants on Monday, Agence France-Presse reported. The government also asked the IAEA to remove cameras and seals the agency had installed in “the most sensitive part of the nuclear facility there,” according to AFP.

The United States is asking North Korea to stop taking steps to restart its nuclear program. “The North Korean actions are very disappointing and run counter to the expectations of the members of the Six Party Talks and the international community. These actions will only serve to further isolate North Korea at a time when the other Six Party Talks members are working to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe this morning, according to AFP.

The United States has not removed North Korea from a list of states that encourage terrorism as it had promised to. So last month North Korea announced it would stop denuclearization.

On Monday North Korean officials told Mohammed ElBaradei, the IAEA chief, that nuclear material would be back in the plant within a week, according to the Guardian.

The North Korean government had started disassembling its nuclear program at the Yongbyon plant in November after the U.S. promised aid.

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