Monday, February 26, 2007

DRPK Invites IAEA back...

In what seems to be the first move towards actually implementing the agreement reached in the 6PT, the AP reports that North Korea has extended an official invitation to Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to visit at some point during the second week of March. (North Korea pulled out of the NPT and expelled IAEA officials in January 2003)

While I'm not overly optimistic as to what this means (this is but one discrete step down a long and winding road that a UN official in the story (I think accurately) noted "could take years"), it is a positive step nonetheless. Both U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (South Korea) and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seem pleased with this early, positive development.

I'm not sure how long it will take, but I'll be interested to hear what El-Baradei reports. Unless I'm missing something, it would seem that his report will constitute the most up to date, authoritative statement regarding the current status of the DPRK's nuclear programs (which I guess is more of a statement of how much we don't know than how complete or authoritative I expect the report to be).

If this visit ends up happening (and there aren't any specifics as to whether it will be meetings, inspections, or anything intrusive), when do we see reciprocal moves from the US?

1 comment:

snowume said...

There is a comment on IAEA's role in Hill's speech about update of six-party talk