North Korea agrees to nuclear disarmament
Tuesday 13 February 2007
North Korea agreed today to take first steps toward nuclear disarmament and shut down its main reactor within 60 days before eventually dismantling its atomic weapons programme.
Under the deal, the North will receive initial aid equal to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil for shutting down and sealing its main nuclear reactor and related facilities at Yongbyon, north of the capital, to be confirmed by international inspectors. For irreversibly disabling the reactor and declaring all nuclear programmes, the North will eventually receive another 950,000 tons in aid.
The agreement was read to all delegates in a conference room at a Chinese state guesthouse and Chinese envoy Wu Dawei asked if there were any objections. When none were made, the officials all stood and applauded.
Under the agreement, North Korea and United States will also embark on talks aimed at resolving disputes and restarting diplomatic relations, Wu said. The Korean peninsula has remained in a state of war for more than a half-century since the Korean War ended in a 1953 cease-fire.
If Pyongyang goes through with its promises, they would be the first moves the communist nation has made to scale back its atomic development after more than three years of six-nation negotiations marked by delays, deadlock and the North's first nuclear test explosion in October.
Making sure that Pyongyang declares all its nuclear facilities and shuts them down is likely to prove arduous, nuclear experts have said.
North Korea has sidestepped previous agreements, allegedly running a uranium-based weapons program even as it froze a plutonium-based one — sparking the latest nuclear crisis in late 2002. The country is believed to have countless mountainside tunnels in which to hide projects.
Under the agreement reached today, the United States will also begin the process of removing North Korea from its designation as a terror-sponsoring state and also of ending US trade sanctions, but no deadlines were set, according to the agreement. Japan and North Korea also will seek to normalise relations.
The North will be required to list all its nuclear programmes — including plutonium it has already extracted from the Yongbyon reactor, the agreement says.
After the initial 60 days, a meeting will be held of foreign ministers from all countries at the talks — China, Japan, Russia, the United States and the two Koreas.
Under the agreement, five working groups are to meet within 30 days: denuclearisation; normalisation of US-North Korea relations; normalisation of North Korea-Japan relations; economy and energy cooperation; and peace and security in northeast Asia.
Another meeting of the nuclear envoys was scheduled for March 19 to check on the groups' progress.
In September 2005 during the six-nation talks, North Korea was promised energy aid and security guarantees in exchange for pledging to abandon its nuclear programmes. But talks on implementing that agreement repeatedly stalled on other issues.
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Ian Watkins: Police probed over earlier allegations as paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
DNA from a 50,000 year old toe shows Neanderthals were highly inbred
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 4 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£500 - £680 per day: Harrington Starr: Murex Business Analyst - 1000 CHF per d...
£35000 - £42000 per annum + excellent company benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group:...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Capita Education Resou...
£39000 - £425000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Newly Qualified ...