North Korea has agreed to take steps to shut the reactor at the heart of its nuclear programme and allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors onto the site. The agreement is the central plank of a disarmament plan sealed in Beijing. The two Koreas, the United States, Japan, Russia and China struck a deal after five days of marathon talks.
The Chinese envoy said an important consensus had been reached. Under the agreement, North Korea has to take first steps to close its main nuclear reactor within 60 days, and in return will receive 50,000 tonnes of fuel oil or economic aid of equal value.
North Korea will then receive another 950,000 tonnes of fuel oil or equivalent when it takes further steps to disable the Yongbon nuclear plant permanently. It will have to provide a complete inventory of its plutonium – the fuel used in Pyongyang’s first nuclear test blast last October.
The country, under the agreement, is also to enter into discussions with the United States with a view to establishing diplomatic ties and removing it from the US list of terror states.