UN checks shutdown of North Korean nuclear plant

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UN checks shutdown of North Korean nuclear plant

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UN nuclear inspectors have spent the day at North Korea’s Yongbyon plant, verifying its closure.

Pyongyang confirmed yesterday that plutonium enrichment at Yongbyon had stopped.

It is the first time inspectors have been inside the facility in 5 years, since they were expelled from the country by President Kim Jong il.

In Japan, US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill, said the first steps were very positive.

“This is good as long as the first step is followed by more steps,” said Hill.

The shutdown of the nuclear facility followed the arrival of fuel aid from South Korea. But some in Seoul remain suspicious of Pyongyang’s intentions.

“I am worried that North Korea is planning something else behind the scenes,” said one man.

“At least it shows North Korea is willing to talk, and has moved away from making nuclear threats,” said another.

The six-party negotiations on the further decommissioning of North Korea’s nuclear capabilties will resume in China this Wednesday.