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North Agrees to Disable Nuclear Facilities

Posted October. 01, 2007 03:08,   


Although the members of the six-party talks have tentatively agreed on a joint statement that outlines a two-step roadmap for North Korea to declare and disable its nuclear facilities, including the 5-megawatt reactor in Yongbyon, they decided to announce it after a two-day recess.

Wu Dawei, the Chinese host and chairman of the negotiations, said after the second-phase of the sixth round of the six-way talks opened on Sunday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing that another round of talks will be held on October 2 after a two-day break to give the top envoys time to consult with their countries on what has been agreed on so far.

Chun Young-woo, South Korea`s chief nuclear negotiator, also said at a press briefing, “The agreement has been named ‘The Second-Phase Denuclearization Measures to Implement the September 19 Joint Statement’ and it is as binding as the February 13 agreement.”

Meanwhile, Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. envoy told reporters before returning to Washington, “The joint statement was very comprehensive...There are lots of details. It is very useful. I think a joint statement will soon be adopted.”

An official of the Korean delegation also told reporters, “The chance of it not being adopted is 0.01 percent.”

The agreement specifies that the North must disable and declare its nuclear facilities by the end of the year while stating that the U.S. must remove the communist regime from its list of terrorism-sponsoring states when the North disables its facilities, without stating an exact deadline for this action.

Hill returned to the U.S. on Sunday, and his Japanese counterpart Kenichiro Sasae, and Russian counterpart Alexander Losyukov, are scheduled to return home on Monday. The date for the North`s envoy Kim Gye-gwan’s return has yet to be released.