A team of UN inspectors have begun a visit to North Korea's Yonbyon nuclear reactor as they step up moves to shut down the country's nuclear programme.
The visit to the plant, about 100 kilometres north of Pyongyang, is the first by representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency since inspectors were kicked out five years ago.
The IAEA visit, led by Olli Heinonen, the agency's nuclear safeguards director, is being seen as the latest breakthrough in efforts to push ahead with a six-nation aid-for-disarmament deal signed in Beijing in February.
"We go to see the facilities and continue our discussions in more details," Heinonen said as he left Pyongyang on Thursday morning for the journey to Yongbyon.
However he emphasized that the visit to Yongbyon, expected to last into Friday, was not a formal inspection.
"We are here to talk about the verification and monitoring arrangement," Heinonen said.
Last Mod: 28 Haziran 2007, 12:52