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US Reiterates Demand for DPRK to Give Up Nuclear Program

The United States on Thursday reiterated its demand that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) forsake its nuclear program.

"You have to start by a commitment to dismantle the program. And you have to constrain the program, you have to establish a mechanism to eliminate the nuclear program in a verifiable and irreversible manner, and a complete one as well," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said at a news briefing.


"Start with a commitment, constrain the program, you establish a series of steps, implementation steps, and you start moving down that road," Boucher said.


The spokesman said there will be "things that can happen" for the DPRK down that road.


"We have made clear that we are prepared to take some provisional steps as that process proceeds, including the provisional granting of assurance of some sort of multilateral security assurance, with the final one being given after the dismantlement is complete," Boucher said.


"We have all said that if we do more down that road, dismantle the program, that the benefits to North Korea -- the possibilities of better relations with us and with others -- are certainly opened up quite widely," Boucher said.


Boucher confirmed that the DPRK had put forward a proposal at the six-party talks currently held in Beijing.


"I think there is a North Korean proposal -- was made of compensation for a freeze. We will obviously look very carefully at everything they said and examine it," Boucher said.


US negotiators at the six-party talks on Wednesday presented the first detailed proposal on resolving the standoff with the DPRK, offering energy aid and a security guarantee in exchange for the DPRK's scrapping of the nuclear program.


(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2004)

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