North Korea releases details of nuclear program

Deano

Ancient Mariner
I'm sure most of you have seen the news on this but I want to put it out there as a huge step in the right direction for North Korea. Of course, it is breaking news and I'm sure there are details that have yet to be disclosed and that there are truths yet to be told but a good sign none the less. My speculation is that events in China and subsequent persuasive efforts by them played some part in this:

PYONYANG, North Korea (CNN) -- North Korea has submitted its long-awaited nuclear program declaration to China, as part of an agreement to remove itself from a U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism.


U.S. researchers examine lathes used for machining uranium metal fuel rods at the Yongbyon plant.

North Korea handed over the declaration to officials from China, which led the six-nation talks that hammered out the conditions of the agreement.

The declaration is expected to contain details on North Korea's plutonium stockpile. North Korea will also continue preparations to publicly dismantle a controversial nuclear reactor -- key steps meant to assuage international concerns about nuclear activity in the usually secretive Communist nation.

The White House welcomed the declaration.

"Multilateral diplomacy is the best way to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "North Korea should seize this moment of opportunity to restore its relationship with the international community."

Under the agreement, leaders in Pyonyang agreed to provide a full accounting of the plutonium, "acknowledge" concerns about its nuclear proliferation and uranium enrichment activities and agree to continued cooperation with a process to assure that no further activities are taking place.

The agreement includes additional monitoring to assure Pyongyang receives promised economic and energy assistance in exchange for dismantling its nuclear program.

On Friday, North Korea is set to implode a cooling tower on its Yongbyon nuclear reactor. Nuclear experts have already begun dismantling the plant's main reactor.

But the destruction of the cooling tower is expected to be a powerful public symbol -- as well as a step that would take more than a year to reverse, according to U.S. State Department officials. 

In a rare move, North Korea has invited international news organizations, including CNN, to witness the tower's destruction.

Speaking last week, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said that once Pyonyang hands over the declaration, U.S. President George W. Bush will announce that North Korea has been removed from the state-sponsored terrorism list and will lift some sanctions against the nation that were levied because of nuclear concerns.

Under the six-party agreement, a 45-day review period will begin after the declaration is handed over. During that time, international nuclear officials will examine the documents to make sure they are accurate and complete.

The six-party talks also included South Korea, Japan and Russia.

During negotiations, the United States ultimately softened demands that North Korea admit to having a highly enriched uranium program and supplying Syria with nuclear technology -- sticking points that had stalled the talks for months.

Rice said the final deal wasn't perfect, but offered the United States its best chance yet to learn about North Korea's nuclear activities.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Wait, I thought we couldn't talk to dictators.  Didn't they say we couldn't talk to dictators?

However, this is a great step in the right direction.  North Korea has many steps left to take, but this is amazing and hopefully, very good.  As a rather well known American once said, "We must never negotiate out of fear, but we must never fear to negotiate."
 

Deano

Ancient Mariner
I guess Madeleine Albright made an impression after all......  ;)


Screw you Hans Brix!
 
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