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North Korea has announced it would allow inspectors from the UN nuclear
North Korea has announced it would allow inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog access to its atomic facilities at Yongbyon after the reclusive state was removed from a U.S. terrorist sponsor list.

North Korea has previously said it would only resume the disablement of its plutonium-producing plants and allow access to IAEA inspectors once the United States agreed to remove it from the terrorist blacklist. However, the U.S. earlier said it needed further verification on all aspects of North Korea's nuclear program.

A UN nuclear watchdog spokeswoman said late Monday that "core discharge activities at the reactor would be resumed on October 14, monitored by Agency inspectors" and also added "inspectors will also now be permitted to re-apply containment and surveillance measures at the reprocessing facility."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the move as "another step towards a verifiable non-nuclear Korean Peninsula" and urged all the participants in the talks - North and South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, the U.S. - to "redouble their efforts to meet their respective obligations and to complete the 'disablement phase' as soon as possible."

The move ends a recent deadlock in the six-party talks after North Korea threatened to restart its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and denied access to IAEA monitors to its facilities over the terrorism-blacklist row.

North Korea had been on the list of states sponsoring terrorism for 20 years and nine months. It was placed on the list after Pyongyang was accused of involvement in the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner.


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