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N Korea Is/Isn’t Ready To Close Nuke Reactor

From those lovers of nuclear proliferation at Reuters:

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill (L) talks with his South Korean counterpart Chun Young-woo during a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul June 22, 2007.

North Korea ready to shut reactor: U.S. envoy

By Jon Herskovitz

SEOUL (Reuters) – The top U.S. nuclear envoy, just returned from a rare visit to North Korea, said on Friday that Pyongyang was ready to promptly disable its nuclear reactor and live up to pledges it made in a February disarmament agreement.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the highest-ranking State Department official to visit the reclusive state in nearly five years, said talks during his some-24-hour surprise trip to Pyongyang were detailed and positive.

“The DPRK indicated that they are prepared, promptly, to shut down the Yongbyon facility as called for in the February agreement,” Hill told a news conference in Seoul

“They also said that they are prepared to disable the Yongbyon facility as called for in the February agreement,” Hill said of the deal reached among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

However, a North Korean diplomat in Vienna has raised the prospect of further delays to implementing the February 13 disarmament-for-aid deal, saying an impasse over North Korean funds frozen in a Macau bank had still not been resolved.

Hill said a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials to Pyongyang to discuss the details of the shutdown is likely on course.

“(The funds) have been in the Russian banking system for the last 10 days. I assume they’re getting to the DPRK bank accounts in Russia, so I assume the IAEA visit will go forward,” he told reporters after meeting South Korean foreign minister…

Note that even at this late date North Korea may or may not be “indicating” that they are thinking about doing what what they have already pledged to do in a treaty.

It’s like a comic opera.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 22nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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