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S Korea, IAEA discuss steps in response to DPRK rocket launch

March 28, 2012, 9:51 UTC+3
Despite preparations for a rocket launch, North Korea invited IAEA inspectors to visit the country
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Photo Xinhua/KCNA

Photo Xinhua/KCNA

SEOUL, March 28 (Itar-Tass) — Head of the Delegation of the Republic of Korea at the Six-Party Talks Lim Sung-Nam and Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano discussed on Wednesday the coordination of the possible steps in response to North Korea’s plans for launching a rocket. Details of the talks are not disclosed so far.

Seoul, as well as other countries of the Northeast Asia region, doubt whether the IAEA inspectors will be able to return to North Korea’s Yongbyon research centre if Pyongyang after all launches a long-range rocket.

The region’s countries considered North Korea’s plans to launch “a working satellite” in April as a disguised attempt to test an improved version of an intercontinental ballistic missile and the related technologies, which is banned by two UN Security Council resolutions.

Despite preparations for a rocket launch, North Korea invited IAEA inspectors to visit the country. American officials reported that the United States is currently in consultations with the IAEA on whether or not to accept the invitation of the North.

“Lim Sung-Nam and Yukiya Amano discussed how the IAEA would respond if North Korea goes ahead with its plan to launch a satellite on the back of a long-range rocket, including the issue of monitoring North Korea’s nuclear program,” an official of the South Korean Foreign Ministry said on condition of anonymity.

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