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North Korea agrees to shut down nuclear reactor in Yongbyon

September 19, 7:38 UTC+3

The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center houses an uranium enrichment facility and a 5-megawatt reactor

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©  EPA/DIGITAL GLOBE/HANDOUT

SEOUL, September 19. /TASS/. North Korea agreed to shut down its experimental nuclear reactor in the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, South Korean president Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday after talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.

"North Korea gave its consent to fully stop the work of the nuclear reactor in Yongbyon," he said.

A joint statement, adopted by the two nations after the talks, says that Pyongyang would make similar steps toward denuclearization if the United States honors the agreements reached during the Singapore summit of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center houses an uranium enrichment facility and a 5-megawatt reactor, built by North Korean scientists in 1986. According to experts, every year it can produce enough materials to make several nuclear warheads.

Earlier in the day, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met behind closed doors in Pyongyang. The meeting was held in the Paekhwawon villa and conference facility for high-ranking guests, where Moon Jae-in is staying during his visit to Pyongyang.

The inter-Korean summit, the fifth in history and the third this year, began in Pyongyang on September 18 and will end on September 20. The first round of talks between the leaders of North and South Korea within the framework of the ongoing summit took place on Tuesday and lasted two hours. Earlier this year, the two leaders met in the border city of Panmunjom twice.

Two previous inter-Korean summits were held in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007.

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