/ 17 April 2009

US nuclear experts thrown out of N Korea

Four US experts monitoring the shutdown of a North Korean nuclear plant were expelled on Friday from the isolated nation, Chinese media reported, days after they were told to leave.

The four departed Pyongyang’s Sunan airport for Beijing ”under the DPRK’s [North Korea’s] expulsion order,” the report said.

North Korea on Tuesday pulled out of nuclear disarmament talks and ordered US and UN nuclear inspectors out of the country after the United Nations Security Council condemned Pyongyang for an April 5 rocket launch.

The UN nuclear inspectors left North Korea on Thursday.

The hardline communist state also announced plans to restart production of weapons-grade plutonium at its Yongbyon plant that had been shut down under an agreement reached at the disarmament talks.

The Yongbyon complex produced enough plutonium for a 2006 nuclear test and for several other bombs until it was closed in 2007 under a six-nation deal brokered with China, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia. — Sapa-AFP