The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Monday that the United States has agreed to remove the country from a list of states that sponsor terrorism and lift economic sanctions.
The US decision was the product of a two-day meeting in Geneva, Switzerland where the DPRK agreed to declare and disable its nuclear weapons programs by the end of 2007.
"The (Geneva) meeting discussed the goals for the next phase of the implementation of the Sept. 19 joint statement and reached a series of agreements," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry as saying.
The two sides discussed the issue of taking practical measures to neutralize the existing nuclear facilities in the DPRK within this year, the spokesman said.
The spokesman confirmed that the DPRK will dismantle the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon at the end of this year, but the KCNA report did not mention whether the DPRK would declare all of its nuclear programs closed by the end of this year.
According to Christopher Hill, chief nuclear negotiator for the United States, the DPRK had agreed to "provide a full declaration of all of their nuclear programs and will disable their nuclear programs by the end of this year, 2007."
"In return for this the US decided to take such political and economic measures for compensation as delisting the DPRK as a terrorism sponsor and lifting all sanctions that have been applied according to the Trading with the Enemy Act," the spokesman added.
The DPRK had repeatedly demanded removal from the terror sponsors list, which is considered a key element in the relationship between the two countries.
The spokesman also said the Geneva talks "laid a groundwork for making progress at the plenary session of the six-party talks to be held in the future."
Besides the US and the DPRK, the six-party negotiations also involve China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Russia. The next full session of the six-party negotiations is expected to start in Beijing in mid-September.
(Xinhua News Agency September 4, 2007)