North Korea Agrees to Discuss Nukes if U.S. Eases Policy
Posted on Feb 7, 2007
North Korea’s nuclear envoy announced on Thursday that his government is prepared to discuss nuclear disarmament, provided the United States softens its approach: “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.”
As a first step, Pyongyang would probably shut down its main reactor and welcome international inspectors in exchange for energy assistance.
The envoy said the U.S. is “well aware” of what it has to do to make the deal work.
Media reports have suggested the North may agree to freeze its main nuclear reactor and allow international inspectors in exchange for energy aid as a starting step to disarm.
But Kim said any moves by North Korea would be determined by the United States’ 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 Washington was “well-aware” of what it had to do.
The North has twice boycotted the talks for more than a year, claiming various U.S. policies show Washington’s thinly veiled desire to topple the Pyongyang regime.
“I’m not either optimistic or pessimistic because there are still many points of confrontation to resolve,” Kim said.
AP Photo / Greg Baker
North Korean negotiator Kim Kye Gwan speaks at a December press conference in Beijing after the closing of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program. Kim announced on Thursday that Pyongyang might consider ending its nuclear weapons program.