US spells out planned verification steps in North Korea
The United States spelled out foreseen measures to verify the North Korean nuclear programme at a meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog on Wednesday, reported dpa.
The US believes that a comprehensive nuclear verification regime in North Korea should include intrusive measures such as taking of material samples and copying of documents, US Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Gregory Schulte told the organization's Board of Governors.
The US, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan are waiting for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to issue a full declaration of its nuclear programme which diplomats and experts expect to be verified by US government inspectors.
The recent provision of over 18,000 pages of North Korean nuclear operating records to the US "does not constitute a declaration," Schulte noted.
The US would like to gain access to North Korean facilities, deploy verification equipment, copy and remove documents and interview DPRK personnel, he told the 35-nation board.
Other necessary measures listed include the taking of environmental and material samples. Experts say that analyzing samples from the reactor's graphite core would help to verify how much plutonium was produced for nuclear weapons in Yongbyon.
Schulte did not indicate whether North Korea has agreed to any of these measures. China is currently trying to set up a further meeting of the six parties involved in the denuclearization of North Korea to talk about the declaration and its verification.
No role is currently foreseen for the IAEA to receive or verify this declaration, which is part of the 2007 six-party agreement to declare North Korea's nuclear activities and disable its nuclear facilities.