Tue, April 17, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific

N. Korea to refuse IAEA inspectors: Japan media

2012-04-17 02:17:22 GMT2012-04-17 10:17:22(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

North Korea will not let inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency examine its nuclear programme, Japanese media said Tuesday, citing unnamed diplomatic sources.

Pyongyang said it would reject IAEA inspections after the United States called off promised food aid in the wake of North Korea's failed rocket launch last week, sources said according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Under a much-trumpeted agreement reached in February, the US had promised thousands of tonnes of much-needed food aid for the impoverished state.

In exchange, Washington had extracted promises that Pyongyang would suspend enrichment of uranium at its Yongbyon plant and cancel nuclear and missile tests.

That agreement collapsed with Friday's launch of what North Korea insisted was a satellite, but what the US and its allies said was a barely disguised missile test.

Pyongyang's official media had said the hermit state would stick by its side of the bargain even after the rocket disintegrated in mid-air and plunged into the Yellow Sea and was now expected to claim Washington had reneged first, the Japanese paper said.

Abandoning the agreement means North Korea will not feel bound by its terms -- and makes it more likely it will pursue a third nuclear test, the paper cited sources as saying.

(Agencies)

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