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February 14, 2007 -- The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency says the agency is ready to resume inspections in North Korea following the North's agreement to curb its nuclear activities.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Executive Director Mohammad el-Baradei described the new accord as a "step in the right direction."
The accord, reached in Beijing after days of six-nation talks, requires Pyongyang to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its nuclear program in return for $300 million of fuel and other aid.
Meanwhile, North and South Korea agreed to resume minister-level talks, seven months after such dialogue collapsed.
North Korea's state-run news agency said Pyongyang agreed to renewed dialogue with South Korea. An initial North-South meeting is scheduled for February 15. Talks on improving ties between the two Koreas stalled last July after North Korea conducted missiles tests.
(compiled from agency reports)