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Nuclear visits scheduled

North Korea agreed Friday to allow U.N. inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities beginning March 1, U.S. and North Korean officials announced.

North Korea, which had been resisting international pressure to open sites suspected of building nuclear weapons, has been threatened with economic sanctions if it didn't comply.

Thomas Hubbard, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said the agreement was reached during talks late Friday with Ho Jong, North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency was to report Monday on whether North Korea would admit agency inspectors. If they refused, the United States had threatened to take the issue to the U.N. Security Council and possibly consider economic sanctions.

Ho said the United States agreed to call off military exercises this year with South Korea, resume talks on a permanent settlement to the nuclear issue and allow the resumption of North Korean-South Korean talks on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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