One day after the United States announced on October 11 that it was removing North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, the North Koreans announced that they would resume disabling the communist nation’s principal plutonium processing plant at its Yongbyon compound and allow international monitors back to the site.
According to a confidential statement made by diplomats associated with the International Atomic Energy Agency on October 9, the North Korean government has barred UN monitoring of its Yongbyon nuclear complex. The diplomats made anonymous statements to both Reuters news service and the Associated Press, citing confidentiality.
The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna announced on September 24 that North Korea had barred United Nations inspectors from a reprocessing plant at its nuclear reactor plant in Yongbyon. The plant converts spent nuclear fuel rods into weapons-grade plutonium. By its decision, North Korea has reneged on an agreement reached in February 2007.
In the wake of the tainted toothpaste and pet food scandals, thousands of infants have been sickened in China by contaminated powdered milk. So far, two infants have died from the product that has been contaminated with melamine, the same agent that was found to have contaminated pet food sold in the United States.
“There has been no deal with China to censor the Internet,” stated International Olympic Committee spokeswoman Giselle Davies according to Associated Press. The controversy began, AP reported on July 31, “when Kevan Gosper, the press commission head of the IOC, said he was surprised to learn that Web sites for Amnesty International along with others … would be blocked to reporters,” and also said he suspected that “an agreement has been reached” with China “by very senior people in the IOC.”