North Korea has made advances towards defusing tension in the region, agreeing to allow the return of UN nuclear inspectors. But Pyongyang’s plan to launch a space satellite has put itself and the whole new deal in peril.
The formal invitation came three years after North Korea blocked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from visiting its nuclear sites, the agency confirmed Tuesday. The move was part of a nuclear moratorium deal reached in exchange for food aid and further negotiations announced last month.
The agreement however is undermined by Korea’s intention to launch a space satellite in mid-April, a move which would violate a ban on rocket tests imposed by the UN Security Council.
In a 2009 resolution, the UNSC has forbidden North Korea from developing ballistic missile technology. At the time, Pyongyang defied the sanctions by carrying out short-range missile test less than a month after its adoption.