Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kemal Dervis : UNDP stands ready to help Gen. Kim Jong-il again

North Korea has reportedly started reassembling a nuclear plant, reversing steps taken as part of an international deal to end its nuclear programme. 

And UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) is ready to assist again in the rebuilding efforts, with CASH and qualified expertise.

The Japanese news agency Kyodo said work began at the plant on Monday.

Pyongyang warned last month that it had stopped disabling facilities at the Yongbyon plant, accusing the US of breaking its part of the agreement.

North Korea wants Washington to remove it from a list of states that sponsor terrorism, which it has not yet done.
'Symbolic gesture'

In June, North Korea finally submitted a long-delayed account of its nuclear facilities - and was expecting to be removed from the US list almost immediately in return.

But the US said that would not be possible until North Korea agreed to inspections aimed at verifying the details that it had disclosed.

That move has been delayed amid wrangling among the six parties involved in the deal - North and South Korea, the US, China, Russia and Japan - over exactly how these details can be verified.

Late in August, the North stopped dismantling facilities at the Yongbyon plant in protest at the delay.

Now it has gone one step further, and has started reassembling the facilities there, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo news agency, citing unidentified officials in Beijing.

Fox News issued a similar report from Washington, and quoted an official as saying that the reassembling could be seen as a "symbolic gesture" because so much of the facility had already been dismantled.

North Korean engineers, overseen by US experts, began disabling the Yongbyon plant in November.

The main cooling tower was demolished in June, and was seen as a potent symbol of Pyongyang's commitment to disarmament.

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