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UN watchdog opposes move

Vienna, Feb. 27 (Reuters): The International Atomic Energy Agency — the UN nuclear watchdog — said today that it was firmly opposed to North Korea operating its nuclear facilities without the presence of UN safeguards inspectors.

The US had said yesterday that Pyongyang had reactivated a small nuclear research reactor capable of producing plutonium. “If this is true, the IAEA deplores the operation of the DPRK (North Korean) nuclear facilities without the presence of safeguards inspectors,” IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a written statement. She added that without the presence of UN inspectors to verify North Korea’s compliance with, or breach of, its nuclear safeguards obligations the agency was unable to verify if what the US alleged was true.

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