North Korea shuts nuclear plant for fuel aid

Published: Wednesday 15 August 2007

In the first step towards nuclear disarmament, North Korea shut down its main nuclear facility on July 14 in exchange for fuel aid. The Yongbyon nuclear facility in North Pyongan province was suspended under observation by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency after South Korea delivered part of the heavy fuel oil promised in aid earlier.

This move follows a six-nation pact signed in Beijing in February 2007, where North Korea agreed to end its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for aid (see 'Beijing deal', Down To Earth, March 15, 2007). South Korea, China, the us, Russia and Japan had signed the agreement. One of North Korea's demands was to be removed from the us list of terrorist nations and the lifting of negotiator Christopher Hill asked the country to complete the second phase by 2007 end, in which it will disable the plant and declare all its atomic arms activities.

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