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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Korea Surprises U.S.

GENEVA () -- North Korea has proposed that thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods that experts fear may pose a radiation risk be put in "dry storage" rather than being reprocessed abroad, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.

They said the proposal, made Monday in talks between the United States and North Korea, took U.S. negotiators by surprise, and Washington was instructing its experts to examine whether it was feasible.

North Korea removed some 8,000 uranium fuel rods from its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon in May, sparking international fears that it could reprocess them itself and gain a supply of plutonium for making nuclear weapons.

The United States has pressed North Korea to export the rods for reprocessing.