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IAEA’s Amano Says His Focus Is Nuclear Sites, Not Missile

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, spoke to reporters in Seoul today after meeting government officials. He was also in the South Korean capital for the Nuclear Security Summit, which ended yesterday.

Amano on North Korea’s plan for a rocket-launch that it says will be used to put a satellite into orbit, and on the nation’s nuclear facility at Yongbyon: “We are following the issue of the satellite launch carefully. We cannot be indifferent but our focus is of course the monitoring and verification of the suspension of the activities in Yongbyon.”

On sending inspectors to North Korea: “My position and the IAEA’s position is that we have started initial consultation with North Korea, and with other countries which are members of the six-party talks.” “Precisely speaking, nothing has been decided. The discussion has just started so nothing concrete has been decided.”

On how difficult nuclear monitoring is in North Korea:

“Things won’t go easy. It takes time. Last time, it took about several months for inspectors to arrive after the decision was made. I am not sure how long it will take this time. Generally speaking, monitoring is very special work. So planning this work takes time. I have to hear details about the agreement between the U.S. and North Korea. We also need to discuss what exactly we can do.”

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