Here’s the “IAEA statement”:http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/PressReleases/2008/prn200813.html on North Korea’s latest move:
Press Release 2008/13
IAEA Removes Seals from Plant in Yongbyon
24 September 2008 | Following is a statement to the media by IAEA Spokesperson Melissa Fleming on the situation in the DPRK:
“As the Director General reported to the Board on Monday, the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea, the DPRK, asked the IAEA to remove seals and surveillance from the reprocessing plant in Yongbyon.
This work was completed today. There are no more IAEA seals and surveillance equipment in place at the reprocessing facility.
The DPRK has also informed the IAEA inspectors that they plan to introduce nuclear material to the reprocessing plant in one week´s time.
They further stated that from here on the IAEA inspectors will have no further access to the reprocessing plant.”
OK, OK, here’s the “new IAEA statement”:http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/PressReleases/2009/prn200903.html:
Press Release 2009/03
IAEA Inspectors Asked to Leave the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
2009-04-14 | Following is a statement to the media by IAEA Spokesperson Marc Vidricaire on the situation in the DPRK:
“The Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has today informed IAEA inspectors in the Yongbyon facility that it is immediately ceasing all cooperation with the IAEA. It has requested the removal of all containment and surveillance equipment, following which, IAEA inspectors will no longer be provided access to the facility. The inspectors have also been asked to leave the DPRK at the earliest possible time.
The DPRK also informed the IAEA that it has decided to reactivate all facilities and go ahead with the reprocessing of spent fuel.”
The consensus is already taking shape: North Korea has walked away from the 6PT and ain’t coming back. Maybe I’m overcorrecting, but I remember thinking the same thing last year, too.
Possibly there’s still hope, if not for the resumption of the 6PT, then for renewal of dialogue in some other form that keeps Yongbyon on ice. Both sides seem to have an interest in moving to a “bilateral format”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1947/batman-begins.
Still, things do look worse this time around, don’t they? It may be that KJI, post-stroke, has become preoccupied with regime solidarity, and is not interested in handing off a delicate diplomatic process to a neophyte successor.
If so, KJI is courting a very tough response from a U.S. that feels threatened by surplus plutonium, and the possibility that it might someday go further afield than North Korea.