Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Removal of Seals and other Interference by North Korea in the Used Nuclear Fuel Storage Facilities

December 23, 2002

  1. North Korea unilaterally removed the seals and impeded functioning of surveillance equipment at the 5MWe graphite-moderated experimental reactor in Yongbyon on December 21, and then on December 22, it further removed the seals and the impeded functioning of surveillance equipment installed in the 5MWe reactor's spent fuel pond. Considering North Korea's obligations under international agreements, these actions are regrettable, and the Government of Japan is deeply concerned about these matters.

  2. Japan, closely consulting with the countries concerned, including the United States and the Republic of Korea, and the IAEA, intends to continue urging North Korea to maintain the freeze on all of its nuclear facilities and respond proactively toward the peaceful solution of the issue.

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