A 10-member team of U.N.
inspectors arrived in Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on Saturday to verify and
monitor the shutdown and sealing of the nuclear facilities in
Upon his arrival in Pyongyang, Adel Tolba, head of the
International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) inspection team,
refused to answer any questions from awaiting reporters.
"I have no comment, we have just come here to do our work,
then make a report to Vienna headquarters," said Tolba.
An official from DPRK's general atomic energy administration
told Xinhua at the airport that the inspection team would go
straight to Yongbyon as soon as they picked up their luggage.
On Tuesday, the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a
statement that the IAEA had received an official invitation from
The inspection team will monitor and verify the shutdown of
the Yongbyon nuclear facilities as agreed between the IAEA and the
DPRK and approved by the agency's board of governors, said the
An IAEA delegation, headed by the agency's Deputy Director
General Olli Heinonen, visited Pyongyang in late June and reached
a consensus with the DPRK on the procedure for the shutdown of the
At a special session on Monday, the IAEA's board of governors
approved a report submitted by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei on the
mission in Yongbyon.
The ratification of the report provided the legal basis for
the IAEA's new mission.
At the same day, a South Korean ship carrying 6,200 tons of
heavy fuel oil arrived in the morning at the northeastern port of
Songbong in the DPRK, according to the South Korean Unification
The DPRK Foreign Ministry said last Friday that it will start
suspending the operation of its nuclear facilities from the moment
the first shipment of heavy oil arrives.
The DPRK expelled IAEA nuclear inspectors in December 2002, and
in January 2003, the country publicly withdrew from the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Under the February agreement this year, the DPRK pledged to
shut down the Yongbyon reactor within 60 days in exchange of
50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid.