North Korea: against IAEA inspections
North Korea barred U.N. nuclear inspectors from its main nuclear reactor on Wednesday and within a week plans to reactivate the plant that once provided the plutonium for its atomic test explosion, the chief U.N. nuclear inspector said.
The North ordered the removal of the U.N. seals and surveillance equipment from the Yongbyon reactor, a sign it is making good on threats to restart a nuclear program that allowed it to conduct a test explosion two years ago.
But the North’s moves could be motivated by strategy as well. It could use the year it would take to restart the North’s sole reprocessing plant to wrest further concessions from the U.S. and other nations seeking to strip it of its atomic program.
Coming amid reports that that leader Kim Jong Il suffered a stroke, the nuclear reversal has fueled worries about a breakdown of international attempts to coax the North out of its confrontational isolation with most of the rest of the world.
North Korea officials have “informed the IAEA inspectors that they plan to introduce nuclear material to the reprocessing plant in one week’s time,” said a statement citing Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Well, I just don’t know what NK is doing really or wants to do, but the moves are certainly worrying…