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North Korea Wants Condoleezza Rice’s Visit

Posted June. 20, 2008 03:03,   


Japanese daily newspaper Mainichi reported yesterday that North Korea’s nuclear negotiator Kim Gye Gwan requested U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill that he should ask U.S. State of Secretary Condoleezza Rice to visit Pyongyang.

The daily cited a source familiar with developments of the six-party talks and analyzed that North Korea seemed to make a use of Rice’s visit as a stepping stone for improving its bilateral relations with the United States.

Kim reportedly made such a request when he had a meeting with Hill to discuss North Korea’s nuclear declaration in Beijing from May 27 to 28. The Japanese daily added Hill did not give an immediate answer.

In her speech to the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday, Rice said, “North Korea will soon give its declaration of nuclear programs to China, the chair of the denuclearization working group. President Bush would then notify Congress of our intention to remove North Korea from the State sponsors of terrorism list, and to cease the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act.”

Rice added, “In the next 45 days after that, before those actions go into effect, we would continue to assess the level of North Korean cooperation, in helping to verify the accuracy and completeness of its declaration. If that cooperation is insufficient, we will respond accordingly. If North Korea breaks the promise or lies, the United States will restore the sanctions and put more sanctions on North Korea.”

Rice also said, “Given the limitation in collecting information on North Korea and its past behaviors, the United States will demand rigorous verification, instead of just trusting Pyongyang.” She stressed that members of six-party talks should be allowed to visit nuclear facilities in Yongbyon so as to verify the declaration.

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