clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

N. KOREA ACCUSES AGENCY OF COMPLICATING N-TALKS

North Korea accused the U.N. nuclear agency Monday of complicating nuclear talks with the United States by demanding to inspect North Korean facilities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency "must stop putting a spoke in the wheel" of the talks, the official Korea Central News Agency quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.The United States held two sets of talks last week with North Korea, hoping to steer the communist country away from a suspected nuclear arms program.

The IAEA, based in Vienna, says it must inspect several unreported sites near the Yongbyon nuclear complex to determine whether North Korea has diverted any plutonium to make atomic bombs.

IAEA spokesman David Kyd said the agency is not involved in the talks with the United States and that U.S. officials were "very happy" with the agency's inspection efforts.

North Korea has refused full inspections, saying its nuclear program, which generates plutonium as a by-product, is peaceful.

U.S.-North Korea talks on replacing outdated nuclear plants with safer, modern plants are apparently near stalemate, not because of inspection demands but because of North Korea's refusal to accept a South Korean-made reactor.

South Korea has said it will help pay for the reactor but only if it is made in South Korea.

The North Korean spokesman said the IAEA was creating obstacles for a solution of the nuclear issue by promoting a confrontation over the North's program.