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N Korea May Begin To Dismantle Nuke Program

From the starry-eyed Associated Press:

North Korea’s chief negotiator Kim Kye Gwan, center top, and his aides face their South Korean counterparts during the opening ceremony of the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007 in Beijing.

N. Korea May Begin to Dismantle Nukes

North Korea Agrees in Principle to Take Initial Steps to Dismantle Nuclear Program

BEIJING, Feb. 8, 2007
By BURT HERMAN Associated Press Writer

(AP) North Korea agreed in principle Thursday to take initial steps toward dismantling its nuclear programs at the start of international talks seeking the first concrete progress on disarming Pyongyang.

The main U.S. negotiator said talks resumed on a positive note, and that sides were hoping to achieve an agreement on the first steps for the North’s disarmament.

“We had a good first day today,” Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told reporters. “We hope we can achieve some kind of joint statement here.”

Unlike the last round of six-nation talks in December, Hill said the countries “were able to make progress on discussing denuclearization.”

Negotiators are working to lay out the implementation of a September 2005 agreement in which the North pledged to disarm in exchange for aid and security guarantees.

Hill said a draft agreement expected from the Chinese hosts by Friday morning would detail a “set of actions taken in a finite amount of time.” He declined to give specifics, but said the moves would take place in a matter of “single-digit weeks.” …

Pyongyang’s envoy had said before the talks started that he was ready to discuss initial steps toward nuclear disarmament.

“We are prepared to discuss first-stage measures,” Kim Kye Gwan said on arriving in Beijing for the meeting at a Chinese state guesthouse.

American experts who visited Kim in Pyongyang last week said North Korea would propose a freeze of its main nuclear reactor and a resumption of international inspections in exchange for energy aid and a normalization of relations with Washington.

Kim said Thursday that any moves by North Korea would depend on the U.S. attitude.

“We are going to make a judgment based on whether the United States will give up its hostile policy and come out toward peaceful coexistence,” he said, adding that the U.S. was “well aware” of what it had to do

It would be nice if this were true, of course.

But it’s far more likely that the North Koreans have been studying negotiation under the Iranians.

Or, come to think of it, maybe the Iranians learned from them.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 8th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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