Their meeting was held "in a cordial atmosphere," the official Korean Central
News Agency reported, without specifying what was discussed or the content of
North Korea's top leader rarely meets foreign guests, and when he does, it
sometimes leads to the announcement of an important decision.
Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan visited Pyongyang last October after
North Korea's first-ever nuclear test explosion. North Korea announced later
that month it would end its boycott of six-nation talks on its nuclear program.
According to the report made available to the AP in Vienna, North Korea has
agreed to the following steps to help the IAEA shutter its facilities:
1. Give agency experts a list of nuclear facilities that are shut down and
sealed and updating the list as needed.
2. Provide agency personnel "access to all facilities that have been shut
down and/or sealed."
3. Allow the installation of "appropriate containment and surveillance ...
and other devices" and other verification methods.
4. Allow agency experts to "apply safeguards" to make sure that they have
full access to North Korea's nuclear program, despite the fact the country
insists it is no longer bound by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
These and other points listed in the report "reflect wide-ranging
willingness" by North Korea to fulfill its commitments made in February to shut
down the Yongbyon facility, said a diplomat accredited to the IAEA and familiar
with its involvement in the North Korean nuclear file.
The report was the work of IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen. It was
based on his tour last week of the Yongbyon facility.
North Korea had pledged in February to shut down and disable the 5-megawatt
reactor, capable of producing enough plutonium to produce one nuclear bomb a
year, in exchange for economic aid and political concessions. That landmark
agreement was the result of talks between North Korea and the United States,
Russia, China, South Korea and Japan.
But the country refused for months to act on the promise until it received
about $25 million in funds that were frozen in a Macao bank amid a dispute with
the US over alleged money-laundering.
The U.N. visit was the nuclear watchdog's first trip to the Yongbyon reactor
since inspectors were expelled from the country in late 2002. IAEA Chief Mohamed
ElBaradei had traveled to North Korea in March but had not visited the