Tuesday 17 January 2017

Cautious hope over North Korea's offer to allow nuclear inspections

Jack Kim in Seoul

Published 21/12/2010 | 05:00

Residents wear gas masks in an air raid bunker on Yeonpyeong Island yesterday
Residents wear gas masks in an air raid bunker on Yeonpyeong Island yesterday

A North Korean offer to allow UN inspectors back to its nuclear site and to sell fuel rods could indicate that Pyongyang, after months of military grandstanding, is bending to international pressure.

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On the other hand, the offer could amount to little more than an empty gesture -- giving up an aging plutonium-based programme, while retaining an alternative, uranium-based path to nuclear weapons, and appearing conciliatory.

The latest offer was extended to US troublshooter Bill Richardson during a visit to Pyongyang, according to CNN which has a team travelling with the New Mexico governor.

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