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Dr. ElBaradei Accepts Invitation to Visit North Korea

Mohamed ElBaradei and Ban Ki-moon

IAEA Director Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon brief members of the international media on their discussions. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

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IAEA Chief Dr Mohamed ElBaradei today accepted an invitation from the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) to visit the DPRK for talks in March. Dr. ElBaradei announced the visit during a press conference with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Dr. ElBaradei welcomed the visit as an opportunity to discuss "issues of mutual concern" and "work toward the normalization of the relationship between DPRK and the Agency."

"I see this as a step toward the denuclearization of the North Korean Peninsular," Dr. ElBaradei told the press. "I hope that DPRK may eventually come back as a member of the IAEA. We will discuss issues of mutual concern and how we can implement the agreement reached at the six-Party talks about the shut down and eventual abandonment of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, including the reprocessing facility. I look forward to seeing the DPRK come back to the Agency as full members where we can not only provide verification but provide also assistance in many areas in terms of nuclear technology and nuclear safety."