The White House said on Tuesday that a landmark nuclear
agreement with North Korea is "a very important first step" toward
the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
"We think it's a very important first step toward the
denuclearization of North Korea and the Korean peninsula," White
House spokesman Tony Snow said.
Snow urged North Korea to abide by the deal. "There's still the
possibility of sanctions through the international community," he
Also on Tuesday, US President George W. Bush said he is pleased
with the landmark nuclear deal.
In a statement, Bush said "I am pleased with the agreement
reached today at the six-party talks in Beijing. These talks
represent the best opportunity to use diplomacy to address North
Korea's nuclear program. They reflect the common commitment of the
participants to a Korean peninsula that is free of nuclear
"I commend Secretary Rice, Ambassador Hill and the negotiating
team in Beijing for their hard work," Bush said.
Rice also welcomed the landmark nuclear deal with North Korea as
a "good beginning."
However, Rice stressed that there is a lot more to be done.
"This is still the first quarter, there is still a lot of time
to go on the clock. But the six parties have now taken a promising
step in the right direction," Rice said.
US media point out that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
has given more flexibility to US negotiator Christopher Hill to
hammer out a deal through compromise with North Korea at the
The six-party talks on Tuesday ended in Beijing with a joint
statement on the first step toward the denuclearization on the
Under the document, North Korea will shut down and seal the
Yongbyon nuclear facility, including the reprocessing facility and
invite back IAEA personnel to conduct all necessary monitoring and
According to the document, the parties agreed to the provision
of emergency energy assistance to North Korea in the initial phase,
and the assistance equivalent to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil will
commence within 60 days.
(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2007)