16:27 GMT +317 January 2020
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    VIENNA (Sputnik) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not received any invitation from Pyongyang to visit the Nyongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre, the new director-general of the organisation, Rafael Grossi, has said in an interview.

    "No, we haven't got any invitation from the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] of any sort. You must know that we left the country reluctantly ten years ago because we were requested to leave immediately by the government ... It has been a decade, so we have lost a lot of information, the chain of information and knowledge was broken", Grossi said.

    The new head of the IAEA has also expressed hope for a prompt political agreement on resolving the North Korean crisis.

    "But I'm confident that as soon as a political agreement is reached — at the moment there is a process between the United States and the DPRK, and I hope, I think we should all hope, that there will be an agreement soon — and when that happens, of course, one of the very first things will be accordance to the agency, because without us any agreement lacks the necessary guarantee", Grossi added.

    Jo Chol Su, the head of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's North American Department, has recently said that Pyongyang is ready to authorise international experts' visit to the Nyongbyon nuclear test site.

    The North Korean Academy of the National Defence Science said on 8 December that it had conducted a “very important” test at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, the North Korean state-run KCNA news agency reported. The test was reportedly conducted on 7 December and the academy made a report on its successful results to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

    According to KCNA, the test will significantly change the North Korean strategic position in the near future. Further details of the test have not been disclosed.

    Last year saw major improvements to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which had been tense due to Pyongyang's multiple nuclear and missile tests, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un holding direct talks with the presidents of South Korea and the United States. However, the negotiation process came to a standstill in 2019 due to a lack of specific denuclearisation measures and resumed missile tests.

    Tags:
    invitation, nuclear tests, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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