PYONGYANG : Inspection Showdown

The North Korean government faces a Wednesday deadline to grant the International Atomic Energy Agency access to two sites at the Yongbyon nuclear complex that are suspected of being nuclear waste dumps.

Investigators believe the two sites could provide evidence as to whether North Korea is developing nuclear weapons. Pyongyang denies the charge and says the suspect facilities are military sites unrelated to its nuclear research program. It recently announced it would withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in protest against the inspection demand.

The United States may ask the U.N. Security Council to impose economic sanctions against North Korea if it continues to block the inspection.