The Associated Press is reporting from Geneva that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said, after two days of talks, that “North Korea agreed Sunday to account for and disable its atomic programs by the end of the year, offering its first timeline for a process long sought by nuclear negotiators.
Kim Gye Gwan, head of the North Korean delegation, said separately his country’s willingness to cooperate was clear — in return for ‘political and economic compensation’ — but he mentioned no dates.
Hill said that the talks in Geneva had been ‘very good and very substantive’ … One thing that we agreed on is that the DPRK will provide a full declaration of all of their nuclear programs and will disable their nuclear programs by the end of this year, 2007′, Hill told reporters, using the initials for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea … ‘When we say all nuclear programs, we mean all’, he said.
He said later in response to a question from The Associated Press that it was the first time that North Korea had ever offered a timeline for declaring and disabling its nuclear program.
Kim Gye Gwan told journalists that ‘We agreed a lot of things between the United States and the DPRK. We are happy with the way the peace talks went … We made it clear, we showed clear willingness to declare and dismantle all nuclear facilities’.
Hill declined to say whether the agreement would include more than the plutonium-producing nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, which North Korea shut down in July. ‘We have to work out some of the details on that’, Hill told reporters. ‘We will have a declaration in time to disable what needs to be disabled’, he said, adding that ‘for example the Yongbyon reactor would have to be included’.
Kim said one of North Korea’s demand to be removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism … ‘We wouldn’t be an enemy country anymore’.
Hill said he expected the next full session of the six-nation talks in mid-September would produce a ‘more detailed implementation plan for “disablement”.’
North Korea, which has withdrawn from its membership in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) announced that it carried out a nuclear test last October, and suggested that it was now a nuclear weapons power.