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North`s Notice to IAEA; President-elect Roh Demands Turnaround of North

North`s Notice to IAEA; President-elect Roh Demands Turnaround of North

Posted December. 27, 2002 22:26,   


Mohammed Elbaradei, the secretary general of the IAEA, announced on Thursday that North Korea had notified the IAEA that it would reactivate the 5MW nuclear reactor in about a month.

Asahi Shimbun, reporting from Binn, recounted the announcement yesterday that the secretary general made in an interview with CNN. According to the newspaper, Mr. Elbaradei said, "North Korea has shut down all the surveillance cameras. The only thing we could do now is to have the two inspectors in North conduct the inspection with their bare eyes."

In the statement issued on the same day, the secretary general expressed concern over the possibility that North Korea might reactivate the reprocessing facility. The facility has the capacity to extract plutonium from the spent fuel rods.

In the meanwhile, President-elect Roh Moo-hyun issued a statement yesterday, verifying his position on the nuclear issue. He said in the statement, "The series of actions North Korea has taken runs direct counter to what the international community expects from it. It also contradicts the hope of all Koreans for peace on the Korean Peninsula." He demanded, "North Korea should withdraw its latest moves and restore all the devices it has removed. At least, it should not do any further action that could worsen the current situation."

Mr. Roh also warned, "If North insists on such works that would not be supportable by the international community, South Koreans cannot support it, either. With the worry of South Koreans rising, our government and the upcoming new administration will face difficulties. That would also affect the currently ongoing exchange programs between two Koreas."

Hun-Joo Cho Jeong-Hun Kim hanscho@donga.com jnghn@donga.com