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Give & Take Results in Nuclear Deal
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The six countries in talks to end North Korea's nuclear weapons programs yesterday agreed on specific disarming steps from Pyongyang in return for aid.


Under the deal, North Korea will begin initial steps toward denuclearization within 60 days of the announcement of the agreement.


South Korea, China, the US and Russia but not Japan will provide 50,000 tons of fuel oil or an equivalent value of economic or humanitarian aid in return.


North Korea will shut down its Yongbyon nuclear complex, including its five megawatt reactor and its plutonium reprocessing plant, within the 60 days and seal all facilities there.


It will also accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors back to the site within the 60 days.


These steps would ensure that North Korea's ability to produce weapons-grade plutonium is disabled.


Path to denuclearization


North Korea will subsequently complete measures to "disable" its nuclear programs and receive 950,000 tons of fuel oil, or the equivalent value in the form of economic or humanitarian aid, from the four countries.


The measures to disable the nuclear programs include:


l         North Korea providing a complete list of its nuclear programs, including the inventory of its plutonium stockpile


l         North Korea disabling all its nuclear facilities, including its graphite-moderated reactors and reprocessing facilities


The steps for now do not involve the provision of 2,000 megawatt-hours of electricity that South Korea pledged in a September 2005 deal reached by the six countries. That is reserved for after the completion of denuclearization in North Korea.


The electricity, at an estimated cost of US$8.55 billion over 10 years, would double North Korea's current output.


Improving ties


The US will initiate, under a separate bilateral forum, a process to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism within 60 days. The US will also begin the process of removing trade sanctions.


With the completion of the initial steps, the foreign ministers of the six countries will meet to assess the implementation of the September 2005 deal and discuss security cooperation in Northeast Asia.


The direct parties to the Korean War armistice will meet in a separate forum to negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.


The deal will also see five working-level groups set up to further discuss issues of importance for the Korean Peninsula.


China will lead a group to discuss the peninsula's further denuclearization.


Other groups will discuss the normalization of US-North Korea relations, the normalization of Japan-North Korea relations, economic and energy cooperation with North Korea -- a group to be headed by South Korea, and establishing a mechanism for peace and stability in Northeast Asia -- a group to be headed by Russia.


A new round of the six-party talks will be held on March 19.


(China Daily February 14, 2007)


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