IAEA Team en Route to North Korean Nuclear Facilities

The IAEA team checks in at the Vienna airport under the media glare. (Photo: K. Nikolic/IAEA)

An IAEA expert team is en route to the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) to verify and monitor the shutdown and sealing of the facilities. The team of ten IAEA experts is the first to return to monitor the shutdown after a four-and-a-half year absence.

IAEA Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei said: "We reached an understanding on modalities on how to work with the DPRK on shutting down the five nuclear facilities and I expect that operation to move smoothly." He said the technical process was "not complicated" and the process of shutting down and sealing the facilities and installing the required verification equipment should not take longer than one month. "I am quite optimistic that this is a good step in the right direction," he said.

"How smoothly the rest of the operation will go very much depends on how progress will be made in the six-party talks," the IAEA Chief said referring to the second phase. "It is going to be a long process, we should not delude ourselves... It will take time to get a comprehensive solution," Dr. ElBaradei said.

Last update: 18 November 2014