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N. Korea to Suspend Nuke Disablement Process

Posted August. 27, 2008 09:34,   


North Korea announced yesterday that it will suspend the disablement of its nuclear facilities, blaming the United States for violating the agreement reached on Oct. 3 last year.

“The United States violated the agreement reached on Oct. 3 since it has yet to remove North Korea from the list of states that sponsor terrorism," North Korea`s Foreign Ministry said. "In response, we will suspend the process of disabling nuclear facilities in Yongbyon and consider restoring their functions.”

Pyongyang`s refusal of the verification process and intent to run its nuclear facilities again are threatening the six-party talks, which face a fresh challenge since their launch in 2003.

In a statement, a North Korean ministry spokesman said, “As the U.S. refused to implement the agreement reached Oct. 3, a serious challenge has been created in resolving the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula. Since the U.S. has violated the agreement, we have no choice but to proceed with our measures based on the action-for-action principle.”

“We decided to halt disabling nuclear facilities in accordance with the Oct. 3 agreement. Our decision took effect Aug. 14 and related parties including the U.S. have already been informed."

North Korea’s statement is considered a rejection of the U.S. proposal on a verification mechanism. Against this backdrop, experts predict that Pyongyang will unlikely to be removed from the U.S. list of terrorist states before U.S. President George W. Bush leaves office.

The unexpected announcement came at a time when leaders of South Korea and China discussed resolving North Korea`s nuclear issue at a bilateral summit.

Seoul expressed its concern, saying, “Given North Korea’s statement, progress in nuclear disablement such as North Korea’s nuclear declaration and demolition of the cooling tower can be reversed.”

North Korea`s spokesman said, "We’ll consider reactivating nuclear facilities at the strong request of relevant authorities,” suggesting that certain forces such as the North Korean military opposed Pyongyang`s nuclear disablement.

“The U.S. is definitely trying to violate our autonomy. It doesn’t matter if we are kept on the U.S. list of states not obedient to Washington.”