The International Atomic Energy Agency said its inspectors left North Korea on Thursday after being ordered out by the reclusive nation.
“IAEA inspectors at the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Yongbyong nuclear facilities, on 15 April, removed all IAEA seals and switched off surveillance cameras,” a statement from the agency said. “This follows the DPRK informing the inspectors, on 14 April, that it had decided to cease all cooperation with the IAEA, requested removal of containment and surveillance equipment, and required the inspectors to leave the DPRK at the earliest possible time.” North Korea has said that it will reactivate all of its nuclear facilities and go ahead with reprocessing spent fuel. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Pyongyang’s move “an unnecessary response to the legitimate statement put out of concern by the (U.N.) Security Council.” “Obviously, we hope there will be an opportunity to discuss this, not only with our partners and allies, but also, eventually, with the North Koreans,” she said. In addition to ordering the nuclear watchdog out of North Korea, Pyongyang has left six-party talks on its nuclear program and has vowed to bolster its nuclear self-defense capabilities.
U.N. condemns North Korean rocket launch
Security Council wrestles with N. Korea launch
Japan extends sanctions against North Korea
In a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean Foreign Ministry called the U.N. condemnation of the nation’s April 5 rocket launch a gross infringement on North Korea’s sovereignty. The Security Council on Monday adopted a declaration condemning North Korea for launching the rocket. The 15-member council voted unanimously for a statement by the president of the Security Council that also demands that North Korea make no more launches.
The North Korean government insisted the act was a peaceful launch of a satellite into orbit, but U.S. officials declared it a “provocative act” in violation of a 2006 Security Council resolution prohibiting Pyongyang from conducting ballistic missile launches. China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States have been involved in the six-party talks with North Korea.