N Korea halts denuclearisation over row with US

North Korea said on Tuesday it has halted work to disable its plutonium-producing nuclear complex in protest at Washington’s failure to remove it from a terrorism blacklist.

Authorities are also considering restoring the plants at Yongbyon to their original state, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the official (North) Korean Central News Agency.

A six-party aid-for-disarmament deal is currently deadlocked by a dispute over verification of the North’s nuclear declaration, which it delivered in June.

The United States refuses to remove the North from the blacklist until it agrees on verification procedures.

“As the US side failed to keep its own side of the agreement, we cannot but take the following measures under the principle of action for action,” the spokesperson said.

“Firstly, we’ve decided to stop the denuclearisation process that has been under way in accordance with the October 3 agreement. This measure already took effect on August 14 and relevant parties have already [been] informed.

“Secondly, we will consider restoring the Yongbyon facilities to their original state in accordance with strong demands from our relevant agencies.”—AFP

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