NKorea likely to start disabling its nuclear facilities this month

SEOUL, Oct 7, SPA — North Korea will likely start disabling its nuclear facilities in the middle of October under a recently struck international deal, a news report said Sunday, as a team of U.S. experts prepared for a second trip to North Korea, ACCORDING TO AP.

The process to disable the North’s nuclear facilities would take about 45 days, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said, citing unnamed officials. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment Sunday. North Korea pledged to disable its main nuclear facilities and declare all its programs by year’s end in a disarmament accord reached last week with the United States, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

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North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator Kim Kye Gwan said that his country wants to disable the Yongbyon nuclear complex «as quickly as possible,» according to Jeong Se-hyun, a former South Korean unification minister who met Kim during a second summit between the leaders of two Koreas in Pyongyang last week. The North is also likely to agree to removing core parts from its nuclear facilities and placing them under the oversight of the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet the deadline, Yonhap said. The report came as a U.S. delegation, led by the U.S. State Department’s top Korea expert Sung Kim, prepares to
depart on Tuesday to the North to create a plan for future teams to begin the disablement of the Yongbyon reactor.

The team, which also include technical experts from various departments of the U.S. government, will put in place the road map for the disablement of Yongbyon facility
at the end of the year, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters last week. Other teams would then go to North Korea to disable the facilities, he said.
A U.S.-led team of nuclear experts surveyed the North’s main nuclear facilities last month.
The Yongbyon nuclear complex is believed to have produced enough plutonium for perhaps more than a dozen bombs _ including the device North Korea detonated a year ago to
prove its long-suspected nuclear capability.

Last week’s deal is a follow-up to a broad agreement reached in February under which Pyongyang pledged to disable its nuclear programs in return for 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil or other energy and economic assistance.