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U.N. nuclear agency says North Korea mission on hold

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VIENNA, Austria (AP) — The head of the U.N. nuclear agency on Monday said his organization does not plan to send a mission to North Korea any time soon, despite an invitation from Pyongyang.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano invoked the North's mid-April launch of a satellite as negating any "immediate prospect of an agency mission taking place."

Because of similar technologies, the statellite launch widely was interpreted internationally as a test of North Korean missile capabilities. Pyongyang is prohibited from missile tests by the U.N. Security Council.

The North issued the invitation to the IAEA on March 13. Mr. Amano said it became obvious that the agency could not send a mission to Pyongyang in the near future after recent contacts with North Korean officials.

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