North Korea is giving its complete cooperation to nuclear inspectors monitoring a shutdown of its key atomic complex, the U.N. team said on Tuesday.
The staff of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in North Korea on July 14 to monitor the Yongbyon nuclear complex, which the North closed as part of a disarmament pact reached in six country talks in February.
"We had complete cooperation from the DPRK authorities," the head of the IAEA group, Adel Tolba, told reporters at Beijing airport after arriving from Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
He said the team had completed the first stage of its mission and was heading back to Vienna for an evaluation.
The returning nuclear monitors are part of a "tag-team" who will watch over Yongbyon while six-party talks seek agreement on advancing the initial disarmament steps. A replacement team of IAEA monitors arrived in North Korea over the weekend.
A reactor and uranium fuel processing plant at Yongbyon can produce the plutonium that North Korea used in its first nuclear test-blast in October last year.
The next step of the disarmament deal among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States calls on Pyongyang to "disable" its nuclear facilities and provide a full accounting of its nuclear weapons programmes.
Talks between the countries this month failed to yield a deadline for those steps.
They are to hold several sets of working-level talks in August and more senior meetings in September that could clear the way for implementation.
Last Mod: 31 Temmuz 2007, 11:14