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“Nuclear Program cannot be Dismantled Completely,” says Kim Jong-il

“Nuclear Program cannot be Dismantled Completely,” says Kim Jong-il

Posted May. 10, 2004 22:07,   


In a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il stated that Pyongyang would not agree to demands by South Korea, the United States and Japan to scrap its nuclear program, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Monday.

The paper quoted Japanese government sources as saying that in a summit held in Beijing on April 19, Kim stated, “North Korea cannot agree to scrap its nuclear program in a complete, irreversible and verifiable manner.” This marks the first time a concrete statement from Kim regarding North’s nuclear issues has been made public.

Kim was quoted as saying, “North Korea is taking part in six-party talks to discuss compensation for freezing its nuclear development." He made it clear that North Korea was seeking a quid pro quo agreement such as energy assistance in exchange for freezing nuclear development. He also added that North Korea would "continue those nuclear programs for peaceful purposes," indicating that Pyongyang would freeze only nuclear programs that are for military use, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Yomiuri Shimbun expects a confrontation at the six-party working-level talks to be held in Beijing on May 12 because North Korea’s stance on the nuclear issue has not changed according to a statement from North Korea`s Kim.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com