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U.S. Not to Remove N. Korea from Terrorist List

Posted August. 12, 2008 06:59,   


North Korea will not get removed from a U.S. list of terrorism sponsoring countries for now because both sides failed to agree on a verification plan for nuclear weapons.

The Bush administration officially notified Congress of its intent to de-list North Korea June 26, when Pyongyang handed over a declaration of its nuclear program. Congress raised no objections over the required 45-day review period.

Japan’s Kyodo News Agency said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura over the phone that Washington will not immediately remove Pyongyang from the list.

The United States wants North Korea to submit a verification plan and begin implementation as a precondition for the delisting. Pyongyang has rejected Washington’s reported request to include North Korea’s uranium enrichment program and nuclear cooperation with Syria in the plan, along with plutonium and nuclear weapons.

In a regular briefing yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said, “Monday was not the official deadline. Now that the U.S. has completed the 45-day process to remove Pyongyang from the terrorism list, North Korea can be removed at any time as long as it establishes a thorough verification plan.”