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Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 8:05
UN nuclear watchdog invited to visit North Korea
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The UN nuclear watchdog says it has been invited to visit North Korea - three years after its inspectors were expelled from the country.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it received a letter from Pyongyang on 16 March, but that the details were still being discussed.

Pyongyang last month agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, as well as nuclear and long-range missile tests.

It also agreed to allow UN inspectors into the country.

In return, Washington is finalising 240,000 tonnes of food aid for the North.

The move comes three months after Kim Jong-un came to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il.

But North Korea's pledge to co-operate with the international community was thrown into doubt last week, when Pyongyang announced plans to launch what it called a rocket-mounted satellite.

The North said the launch - between 12 and 16 April - would mark the 100th birthday of its late Great Leader Kim Il-sung.

Any launch would be seen as violating UN Security Council resolutions, and the US has described the plans as "highly provocative".

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