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NKorea blows up tower at nuke plant

SEOUL, June 27 – Friday blew up the cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, according to ‘s MBC TV.

The TV station, which sent personnel to the event, gave no immediate details and no footage was aired. It was unclear how it received the report.

The event was originally scheduled to be broadcast live by international media but TV stations reported technical problems at the scene.

‘s Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan said he could not confirm the report since there were no communications with the site.

The North scheduled the event to symbolise its commitment to nuclear disarmament, one day after it handed over details of its atomic programmes as part of a six-nation pact.

The complex, 96 kilometres (60 miles) north of Pyongyang, is at the heart of US-led diplomatic efforts to shut down the nuclear programme in exchange for energy aid and major diplomatic and security benefits.

Yongbyon produced the plutonium for an atomic weapons programme which culminated in a nuclear test in October 2006.

Yu told reporters that Friday morning received a copy of the declaration which handed over Thursday to , host of the six-party talks.

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He said the parties — the two , the , , and — were holding consultations about a new six-party meeting, with a target date of early July.

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