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U.S. Sets Additional Tasks for North Korea

Posted December. 03, 2007 03:30,   


The U.S. government decided to impose three new conditions for removing North Korea from Washington`s list of state sponsors of terrorism, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Saturday.

The new conditions are in addition to the current U.S requirement that North Korea completes the disablement of its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. According to the new demand, Pyongyang must reveal the amount of plutonium it has extracted; the details of its uranium enrichment program; and its alleged transfer of nuclear technology and materials to other countries such as Syria, the sources said.

It is now likely that North Korea will not be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism anytime soon, since it is unlikely that the country will accept all four conditions, the sources said.

North Korea has flatly denied the existence of a uranium enrichment program and any transfer of nuclear technology and materials to other countries. It is also believed that North Korea is reluctant to declare its current nuclear weaponry stockpile, including plutonium, which is used to make nuclear bombs and warheads.

It is reported that the United States and North Korea had agreed on the removal of the reclusive state from the terrorism sponsor list and on the lifting of punitive measures mandated by the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act in return for Pyongyang’s disabling of its nuclear facilities and full declaration of its nuclear programs by year`s end.

The Yomiuri Shimbun didn’t elaborate on the background of the new U.S. measures, but it analyzed that the U.S. government seems to have taken into consideration Japan`s strong demand to keep North Korea on the terrorism sponsor list.

Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. envoy for the six-party talks, is expected to travel to Pyongyang on Monday and stay there until Wednesday. During his stay, Hill will meet his North Korean counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan.

On November 29, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State said in Seoul that North Korea "is required to list all of its [nuclear] programs, facilities, and materials.”

However, North Korea has not submitted an initial draft nuclear listing, even though only one month remains before the deadline to complete the declaration.