North Korea quits nuclear talksNorth Korea said on Tuesday it would quit international nuclear disarmament talks and restart a plant that makes bomb-grade plutonium after the United Nations chastised it for launching a long-range rocket.
The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously condemned North Korea's launch on April 5 as contravening a U.N. ban, and demanded enforcement of existing sanctions against Pyongyang.
Prickly North Korea said in a Foreign Ministry statement that the U.N. action and separate six-country nuclear talks were an infringement of its sovereignty and it "will never participate in the (nuclear) talks any longer nor ... be bound to any agreement of the six-party talks." [via Yahoo! News]
Briefing on Latest Developments in the Six-Party TalksFrom the State Department
Labels: Six-Party talks
North Korea to disable nuclear programNorth Korea pledged last Wednesday to detail its nuclear programs and disable all activities at its main reactor complex by the end of the year, its firmest commitment to disarm after decades seeking to develop the world's deadliest weapons.
Under an agreement reached in February, Pyongyang was required to shut down and seal its sole operating reactor at its main nuclear complex, which it did in July after the U.S. reversed its hard-line policy against the regime. The second phase required it to disable the reactor and provide a full description of all its nuclear programs. Wednesday's agreement calls for that to happen by the end of the year.
The North said it would allow the U.S. to lead a group of experts to Pyongyang within two weeks "to prepare for disablement" of its nuclear facilities, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said in Beijing. The U.S. wants the dismantling process to be so thorough that a nuclear facility could not be made operational for at least 12 months.
The United States was secretive about what it promised in return.
The U.S. has agreed to lead disablement activities and provide the initial funding for them. Washington also reiterated its willingness to remove North Korea from a list of countries that sponsor terrorism, a key demand of Pyongyang.
No timetable was set for this action, but a joint statement said it will happen "in parallel with" the North Korean government following through on its commitment. [via Yahoo! News]
China's MFA has the text of the "Second-Phase Actions for the Implementation of the [September 2005] Joint Statement."
North Korea: Nuclear talks end without timelineTalks aimed at shutting down North Korea's nuclear weapons program ended Thursday with no concrete timeline and a host of difficult questions obscuring the road ahead.
But a year-end deadline proposed by the US delegation for North Korea to come clean on its nuclear weapons stockpile, atomic research programs, stored components, secret facilities, and other capabilities proved elusive.
North Korea pledged in February to dismantle its atomic weapons capability in return for aid, trade, and diplomatic recognition.
US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he still believed a full North Korean disclosure was possible by late December. "But obviously it's going to be difficult," Hill, the chief US negotiator, told reporters before leaving Beijing.
Chinese officials said the parties agreed to convene working groups on several technical issues by the end of August.
They also agreed to hold another round of six-nation talks by September and move to schedule a ministerial meeting as soon as possible thereafter in a bid to maintain momentum.
North Korea nuclear talks on holdInternational talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions broke down Thursday over a financial dispute, a twist that could imperil a fragile disarmament process.
Negotiators from the two Koreas, the United States, Japan, Russia and host China met Monday with the aim of fine-tuning ways to implement a hard-fought February 13 agreement under which the North would ultimately fully disclose and dismantle all its nuclear programs.
The deal had touched off cautious optimism that progress could be made, but this week's talks never got off the ground because of a drawn out dispute over the transfer of North Korean funds that had been frozen in Banco Delta Asia, a lender in the Chinese territory of Macau. [via CNN.com
North Korea Deal ReachedThe White House on Tuesday said the six-party deal on North Korea's nuclear program was an important first step toward Pyongyang's denuclearization.
North Korea agreed to move on nuclear disarmament under a pact that will bring it about $300 million worth of aid.
"We think it's a very important first step toward the denuclearization of North Korea and the Korean peninsula," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
North Korea will shut the Yongbyon reactor complex at the heart of its nuclear program and allow international inspectors onto the site as part of a disarmament plan reached at six-party talks among the two Koreas, United States, China, Japan and Russia. [via Yahoo!]
North Korea Deal?Negotiators reached a tentative agreement on initial steps for North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, the U.S. envoy to the talks said Tuesday.
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said the agreement outlined specific commitments for North Korea and would set up working groups to implement those goals to begin meeting in about a month. He declined to give other details. [via MSNBC.com]
6 Party Talk underwayChina has distributed a draft agreement to the countries at international talks seeking to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programs, a South Korean official said early Friday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing diplomacy, gave no details of the draft. However, other delegates said earlier the agreement would outline initial steps for implementing a September 2005 agreement from the six-nation talks where Pyongyang pledged to disarm in exchange for aid and security guarantees.
"We had a good first day today," Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters Thursday evening after North Korea agreed in principle to take initial steps toward dismantling its nuclear programs.
"We hope we can achieve some kind of joint statement here," he said. [via Yahoo! News]