North Korea invites IAEA back amid satellite spat
North Korea has asked international nuclear inspectors to resume work in the country, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday, dpa reported.
The invitation came last Friday, the same day the country said it would launch a satellite in April.
The United States, South Korea and Japan have criticized the satellite plan, as such a launch employs missile technology that can be used for military purposes.
While the IAEA inspections were part of the recent agreement with the United States on freezing the nuclear programme in return for food aid, Washington has said the satellite launch would imperil this deal.
In Vienna, the IAEA said: "We will discuss with the DPRK and other parties concerned the details of the visit."
"Nothing has been decided yet," the agency said, referring to North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The reason why the IAEA reacted so cautiously to Pyongyang's letter might have been influenced by the satellite announcement, but had more to do with the fact that IAEA inspectors have been kicked out of North Korea in the past, a diplomat said in Vienna.