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DPRK starts to restore nuclear facilities
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The United States urged on Friday the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to stop working on the restoration of its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.

The DPRK is near to restart its nuclear reactor, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

They are moving "closer and closer to that point where they areto the point of operationalizing Yongbyon again. They haven't got that point yet and we would urge them not to get to that point," McCormack said.

The spokesman warned that Pyongyang must halt its nuclear activities or it will be isolated.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has begun the work to restore its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon "to their original state," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.

It was a "counter-measure" against the United States for not sticking to its promise of delisting the DPRK from a "state sponsor of terrorism" blacklist, the official KCNA news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

The spokesman accused the United States of "stepping up its hostile policy toward the DPRK" by raising the verification of a nuclear declaration as a precondition of delisting the DPRK from its terrorism blacklist.

The issue of setting up a verification and monitoring mechanism should be discussed "at the phase of realizing the denuclearization of the whole Korean Peninsula," the spokesman said.

The DPRK will not pursue the delisting by the United States any more, the spokesman said. He did not disclose whether the DPRK will live up to the six-party agreement of dismantling its nuclear programs.

Under the 2007 pact, the DPRK pledged to disable its nuclear program in a step toward its eventual dismantlement in exchange for diplomatic concessions and energy aid. But the accord has been stalled due to disputes over the verification of a nuclear declaration between the DPRK and United States.

(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2008)

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