Skip to comments.North Korea 'Ready to Suspend Nuclear Activities'
Posted on 01/21/2007 10:02:00 PM PST by HAL9000
North Korea has reportedly agreed to halt nuclear activities including operations at a reactor in Yongbyon, and allow on-site monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency as the first steps to abandoning its nuclear program. The agreement came during a meeting of the chief nuclear negotiators of the U.S. and North Korea that ended Friday in Berlin, sources said.
According to diplomatic sources in Seoul and Beijing, North Koreas top nuclear envoy Kim Kye-gwan told his U.S. counterpart Christopher Hill that North Korea will yield in return for economic and energy aid from the U.S. and assurances that the U.S. will seek to unfreeze North Koreas US$24 million in accounts with the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia.
The U.S. will discuss conditions for the lifting of financial sanctions in separate bilateral talks scheduled this month. The North is expected to implement its part of the deal once it is finalized in the next round of the six-nation nuclear talks, which are likely to resume early next month. Pyongyang and Washington agreed to use the term monitoring rather than inspection.
Other sources said Pyongyang demanded that Washington consider transforming the armistice that ended the Korean War into a peace treaty as soon as it starts implementing the initial measures, and the U.S. gave a positive response. The two Koreas remain technically at war since no peace treaty was ever concluded.
Hill flew from Tokyo to Beijing on Sunday to discuss the six-party talks. He said he expected the multilateral negotiations to reopen in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, Kim met with his Russian counterpart Alexander Losyukov in Moscow on Sunday morning. Diplomatic sources in Moscow said Kim told the Russian deputy foreign minister about the results of his meeting with Hill in Berlin and sought cooperation from Russia in persuading the U.S. to lift financial sanctions. Kim also reportedly discussed with Losyukov the timetable for the resumption of the six-party talks.
I think Kimme is finding it pretty expensive to build these things - bet he's running out of money.