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Kim Jong Un says he would accept IAEA inspections

Posted April. 24, 2018 07:38,   

Updated April. 24, 2018 07:38


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is said to have sent his message to the Trump administration that he would accept a denuclearization verification and intensive inspection by international inspectors including the International Atomic Energy Agency’s visit to its nuclear facilities. Kim, who announced that the regime would shutter a nuclear site in Punggye-ri over the weekend, is reported to have made more detailed reference to the possible inspection and verification for denuclearization. With the upcoming bilateral summit between Washington and Pyongyang, the negotiations on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will go more smoothly.

CIA director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo secretly met with Kim earlier this month to lay the groundwork for direct North Korea-U.S. talks under the condition of the regime’s complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, South Korea’s intelligence agency said on Monday. Acting as a special envoy for Trump, Pompeo strongly urged North Korea to allow an international verification procedure to check that regime dismantles the nuclear program.

Kim reportedly said he would freeze the nuclear program, report any nuclear activities, and allow international inspectors to visit its facilities only if Washington engages in sincere negotiations, according to observations by South Korea’s intelligence agency. Pompeo is reported to have raised the need for intensive verification procedure in a short period time, citing that North Korea previously expelled IAEA inspectors. He also said inspectors may have to carry out a special inspection into nuclear facilities additionally, if necessary. Kim is said to have not raised any objection to these demands. On the timing and scope of nuclear inspections, Kim will, however, make more cautious decisions after taking into deep consideration what he will gain in return.

In response to criticism by Chuck Todd on NBC’s political news show on Sunday (local time) where he said Pyongyang seems to be getting more out of the talks than Washington, Trump tweeted: “Wow, we haven’t given up anything & they have agreed to denuclearization (so great for World), site closure & no more testing!”

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com · Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com