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US experts arrive in N Korea for nuclear disablement
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A working group of US experts arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday for talks on disabling the nuclear facilities of North Korea.


The eight-member team, led by Kim Sung, director of the US State Department's Office of Korean Affairs, will map out a plan for future teams to begin disabling the Yongbyon nuclear reactor.


As a first step, the US experts would stay in North Korea for about a week before another team took over in a "baton pass," according to the State Department.


North Korea agreed to disable all existing nuclear facilities and provide a declaration of all its nuclear programs by the end of this year, according to a joint document released on October 3 when the second phase of the sixth round of six-party talks ended in Beijing.


The document said the disabling of the five megawatt Experimental Reactor, the Reprocessing Plant (Radiochemical Laboratory) and the Nuclear Fuel Rod Fabrication Facility in Yongbyon would be completed by December 31.


The US would lead the disablement and provide initial funding, according to the document.


The six parties -- China, North and South Korea, the US, Russia and Japan -- signed a landmark agreement on February 13 that required North Korea to declare all nuclear programs and disable all existing nuclear facilities, while the other parties must provide a total of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil or equivalent aid to the country.


(Xinhua News Agency October 12, 2007)

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