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North Korea Kicks Out UN Nuke Team

The Washington Times reports that North Korea has just kicked out the IAEA inspection team from its Yongbyon plutonium plant with apparent intentions of restarting the facility once plutonium fuel can be supplied.

North Korea barred U.N. nuclear inspectors from its main nuclear reactor on Wednesday and within a week plans to reactivate the plant that once provided the plutonium for its atomic test explosion, the chief U.N. nuclear inspector said.

The North ordered the removal of the U.N. seals and surveillance equipment from the Yongbyon reactor, a sign it is making good on threats to restart a nuclear program that allowed it to conduct a test explosion two years ago.

But the North's moves could be motivated by strategy as well. It could use the year it would take to restart the North's sole reprocessing plant to wrest further concessions from the U.S. and other nations seeking to strip it of its atomic program.

Another example of how negotiating with unstable bad actors are increasingly endeavors with rapidly diminishing returns.

This and more today in our DailyBriefing for September 24, 2008. The DailyBriefing is posted each morning to provide an overview of conflicts, threats and developments around the world and is updated throughout the day.