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U.S. to call for joint efforts to denuclearize N. Korea at IAEA meeting: state

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) — The United States plans to call for international efforts to fully denuclearize North Korea at the upcoming meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the State Department said Friday.

Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Christopher Ford will take part in the IAEA general conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday through Thursday, according to the department.

“We will urge nations to join us in striving for the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea,” it said of the upcoming meeting.

The move comes amid an impasse in denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

U.S. President Donald Trump has held three meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but their talks have stalled since their second bilateral summit, in Hanoi in February 2019, ended without a deal.

“The United States recognizes and supports the IAEA’s important contributions toward international peace and security and the peaceful application of nuclear technology, and we are a committed member state of the IAEA,” the department said in a statement.

North Korea quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1993 and again in 2002. It granted IAEA inspectors access to its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon in October 2008, but only to kick them out in April 2009, a month before it staged its second nuclear test.

The communist state has conducted six nuclear tests so far, with its latest and most powerful test in September 2017.

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