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Japan ready to share IAEA costs to check on N. Korea

Jiji Press VIENNA (Jiji Press) — Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Thursday that Tokyo is ready to shoulder part of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s costs for inspecting North Korea toward the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the country.

Kono unveiled the plan at a meeting with IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano at the organization’s headquarters in Vienna.

“Japan hopes to work with the IAEA for making maximum use” of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s know-how and experience in the denuclearization process, Kono said.

The government plans to shoulder initial costs for IAEA inspections if a specific process for the denuclearization is decided in the ongoing negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

Kono also explained progress in the government’s discussions on the country’s possible additional contributions, such as personnel support.

Noting that many countries have expressed their readiness to provide support, Kono asked the IAEA to show the necessary amount of funds and launch work for helping them share the costs.

Amano said that the IAEA is beefing up preparations so that it can start its inspections promptly once it receives a request from countries concerned.

According to sources in the Foreign Ministry, Amano gave a detailed explanation to Kono on the IAEA’s discussions with the United States toward North Korea’s denuclearization.

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