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July 18, 2007
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Headline News of July 18, 2007
Reactor at Yongbyon
North Korea has closed all five facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear site, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei confirms.

The owners of a Japanese quake-hit nuclear plant admit a radioactive leak was worse than previously reported.
Lawyers for Mohammed Haneef say they are appealing Canberra's decision to hold him under immigration laws.

BBC news transcript with photos
Transcript in the news of July 18, 2007 (With some misspelled words)  

A south Korean envoy to talks says the north is ready to disable all of its nuclear facilities by the end of the year at the latest. The envoy said the north Korean negotiate year had also said the government in Pyongyang was now willing to declare all aspects of its nuclear program. He was speaking after the latest round of international talks in Beijing. As the talks got under way, U.N. Inspectors announced that they'd verified the closure of all five nuclear installations at Yongbyon. 469E02A0.JPG

>> They've now verified that all the facilities have been shut down and that appropriate measures have been put in place, including ceilings.

-- Sealing some of these facilities. We expect that in the next few weeks we will continue monitoring and verification measures so the facilities are shut down. And we will watch that.

>> That's Mohamed el Baradei. Well, the talks in Beijing have finished for the day. Our correspondent jams Reynolds is there.

>> The situation now is very different from the situation just about nine months ago when north Korea carried out a nuclear test and then declared that it was a nuclear power. What's happened in the last nine months is this: North Korea has pretty much got what it's wanted. It showed how powerful it could be, and it has forced concessions out of the united states, out of china and out of other countries. They're now providing north Korea with fuel. They're not talking about regime change. They're talking about normalizing relations with north Korea. In return north Korea has allowed in inspectors, and it has shut down its nuclear facilities. So the atmosphere is a lot lighter than it was nine months ago, but I think the important point is that north Korea still feels it is in control of what it's giving up and of the pace and tone of negotiations. 469E02FD.JPG

>> Well, a lot of nuclear story around at the molt. The operator of a huge nuclear power station in Japan damaged by an earthquake on Monday has admitted it underreported the amount of radiation discharged into the sea. The Tokyo electric power company says the quake on Monday caused the leak of raid yes active water, which was some 50% bigger however, the company insists it was still within environmental safety standards.


N Korea closes more nuclear sites
Reactor at Yongbyon
An IAEA team is in North Korea to monitor the closures
North Korea has shut down all five nuclear facilities at its main Yongbyon complex, International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei says.

IAEA monitors in North Korea had verified the four new closures, Mr ElBaradei told journalists in Malaysia.

North Korea shut down its sole working reactor at Yongbyon on Saturday.

The move comes with international envoys meeting in the Chinese capital, Beijing, to discuss the next steps in North Korea's nuclear disarmament deal.

"We have verified that all five nuclear facilities have been shut down and that appropriate measures have been put in place, including sealing some of these facilities," Mr ElBaradei told journalists in Kuala Lumpur.

The more transparency we get, the quicker we will be able to verify that everything in the DPRK (North Korea) has been declared
Mohamed ElBaradei
IAEA chief

"We expect that in the next few weeks we will continue to apply the necessary monitoring and verification measures," he said.

Facilities shut down include construction sites for a reactor and a fuel reprocessing site.

The Yongbyon closures are the first step in a deal agreed in February 2007, under which North Korea is to receive a total of one million tons of energy aid if it ends its nuclear programme.

Second phase

Negotiators for the six countries involved in the deal - the US, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia, as well as North Korea - are meeting for two days of talks in Beijing.

They want North Korea to agree to a timetable for the deal's second phase, under which it must declare and disable all its nuclear facilities.

N Korea to "shut down and seal" Yongbyon reactor, then disable all nuclear facilities
In return, will be given 1m tons of heavy fuel oil
N Korea to invite IAEA back to monitor deal
Under earlier 2005 deal, N Korea agreed to end nuclear programme and return to non-proliferation treaty
N Korea's demand for light water reactor to be discussed at "appropriate time"


"We all know that we've got a long road ahead of us with many steps," US envoy Christopher Hill said ahead of the talks.

"Maybe we could try to agree on getting these next phase things done in calendar year 07," Reuters news agency quoted him as saying.

For his part, before leaving Pyongyang, North Korean negotiator Kim Kye-gwan said that the six-party talks would address "obligations and actions" to be taken by all sides.

Analysts say that while the Yongbyon closures are an important step, persuading North Korea to fully disclose all of its nuclear facilities and agree to their being disabled is likely to be a long and difficult process.

One hurdle is the US allegation that North Korea - which carried out its first nuclear test in October 2006 - has a secret uranium enrichment programme. Pyongyang denies this.

"Uranium enrichment is an ongoing issue and, believe me, we are working on it," Mr Hill said.

Mr ElBaradei emphasised that full transparency from Pyongyang was the key.

"The more transparency we get, the quicker we will be able to verify that everything in the DPRK (North Korea) has been declared," he said.

* Because production of these transcripts depend on a variety of factors, there are occasional spelling errors.

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