PYONGYANG, North Korea -- A U.S. team has begun disabling North Korea’s nuclear facilities as part of the next step in the Communist country’s denuclearization effort.
U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the process under the six-nation agreement, which includes the United States, began Monday,Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday. “This is a positive first step in this process, and (we) certainly hope to see it continue,” Casey said.
The U.S. team is working at the Yonbyon facility near Pyongyang, where North Korea’s main nuclear facilities are located.
Yonhap reported the experts hope the facility will be disabled to the point where restarting it will be difficult and cost prohibitive. Other parties in the effort are the two Koreas, China, Russia and Japan.
The current agreement also requires North Korea to disclose all its other nuclear programs in exchange for extensive aid. The entire process is expected to be completed by year-end.
China’s Xinhua news agency reported the current effort will involve disabling the 5 megawatt experimental reactor, the reprocessing plant and the nuclear fuel rod fabrication facility
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