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(LEAD) N. Korea accepts on-site inspection of missile launch site: report

All Headlines 20:57 August 19, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details, additional information from 4th para; RECASTS 2nd para to verify the ICAO officials may not be visiting missile launch sites)

SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has agreed to an on-site inspection of its missile launch site by international officials to ensure the safety of international flights, a report said Sunday.

According to the report by Japan's Kyodo News, the communist state has agreed to allow a group of inspectors from the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to visit the country and verify its pledged suspension of unannounced missile launches.

The agreement to suspend missile launches and allow ICAO inspection was made in May when a group of ICAO officials visited the North, the report said.

The report added the planned visit will likely take place next year and that it will be aimed at verifying the measures taken so far by the North to keep unannounced missile launches in check under its earlier pledge.

"The upcoming inspection is expected to include visits to the country's aviation authorities and interviews with people in charge," the report said.

The North's pledge to suspend unannounced missile launches apparently followed its leader Kim Jong-un's historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27, in which the leaders of the divided Koreas agreed to suspend all hostile acts against each other.

North Korea launched more than 10 medium and long-range ballistic missiles in around seven months after Moon took office in May 2017. No military provocation has taken place since the first Moon-Kim summit.

In a later meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, held in Singapore on June 12, the North Korean leader also agreed to dismantle his country's missile test facilities, along with its only known nuclear test site.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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