Fears increase over N Korea nuclear deal

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The Independent Online
Vienna - An agreement that is due to be signed today to dismantle North Korea's plutonium-producing nuclear reactors could significantly delay overdue checks on its suspect nuclear sites, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

For the past two years the agency has been embroiled in a dispute with North Korea over Pyongyang's refusal to allow full inspection of its nuclear sites, heightening suspicions that it was secretly building atomic weapons.

Under the accord between the United States and North Korea, Pyongyang's reactors will be replaced with light-water technology that produces much less plutonium. But it is likely to be up to five years before IAEA experts can fully assess North Korea's entire nuclear inventory. Reuter