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North Korea “Could” Shut Down Nuke Reactor

From an ever hopeful Associated Press:

U.S.- N Korea set timeline to shut reactor

By HIROKO TABUCHI, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO – North Korea could shut down its plutonium-producing reactor within three weeks, a top U.S. nuclear envoy said Saturday after returning from a rare visit to the reclusive country.

Russia, meanwhile, said North Korean funds frozen at a Macau bank had reached North Korean accounts at a private Russian bank, clearing a hurdle in a financial dispute with the United States that had complicated the disarmament process.

Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator at international talks on North Korea’s nuclear programs, also said the next round of nuclear negotiations could begin in early July, before a full shutdown of the Yongbyon reactor.

Hill said the reactor would be closed after North Korea and the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agree on how to monitor the process. U.N. inspectors are to arrive in North Korea on Tuesday.

We do expect this to be soon, probably within three weeks … though I don’t want to be pinned down on precisely the date,” Hill told reporters in Tokyo after briefing his Japanese counterpart, Kenichiro Sasae, on the outcome of his two-day surprise trip to the North Korean capital…

Not to pick nits, but there is nothing in the article to suggest what its headline claims.

In fact, it sounds like exactly the opposite — that no timeline has been set. And, indeed, Mr. Hill might be engaging in wishful thinking.

You would think that the AP would learn. After all, how long has this been going on?

Here is a sampling of other headlines for this news, sometimes for this same article:

US expects North Korea to shut reactor in 3 weeks
International Business Times, NY –

North Korea may shut down its main nuclear reactor
San Mateo Daily Journal, CA 

US envoy: NKorea may shut down main nuclear reactor within 3-week
940 News, Canada

N Korea nukes deal closer
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

May, might, could, expects….

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, June 23rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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