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IAEA Head to Visit North Korea on March 13
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Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei will go to North Korea "on March 13 for a two-day visit" at the invitation of North Korea government to discuss the detailed work of shutting down and sealing North Korea's nuclear facility, said IAEA Spokeswoman Melissa Fleming on Sunday.

On Feb. 24, ElBaradei announced, without giving a specific date, that Pyongyang had invited him to visit North Korea within the next few weeks to see how North Korea can establish a "normalized relationship with the agency" and "implement the agreement reached on the freezing of facilities."

The latest round of six-party talks, involving China, the United States, North Korea, South Korea, Russia and Japan, ended in Beijing on Feb. 13 with a joint statement on the first step toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Under the document, North Korea will shut down and seal its Yongbyon nuclear facility including the reprocessing facility and will invite IAEA inspectors to return to the country for monitoring and verifying its actions.

The parties agreed to give emergency energy assistance to North Korea in the initial phase, providing Pyongyang 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil within 60 days in return for shutting down the reactor, according to the document.

The next round of the six-party talks is scheduled for March 19 in Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2007)

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