Pyongyang has agreed to disable all its existing nuclear
facilities and provide a "complete and correct declaration" of its
nuclear programs by the end of this year, according to a joint
statement of the six countries involved in the Six-Party Talks on the Korean nuclear issue
released by host China yesterday.
The statement, read out by Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei in
Beijing, also reaffirmed a US commitment to begin the process of
removing the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from its
list of nations sponsoring terrorism as Pyongyang moves ahead with
its obligations, but did not mention a time frame for that.
"The DPRK agreed to disable all existing nuclear facilities
subject to abandonment under the September 2005 joint statement and
the February 13 agreement," said Wu, who is also the chief Chinese
negotiator at the multilateral talks.
The disablement of the 5-megawatt experimental reactor, the
reprocessing plant and the nuclear fuel rod fabrication facility at
Yongbyon will be completed by December 31.
"DPRK agreed to provide a complete and correct declaration of
all its nuclear programs in accordance with the February 13
agreement by December 31," Wu said.
Negotiators of China, the United States, the DPRK, the Republic
of Korea (ROK), Japan and Russia at the talks had tentatively
agreed on the document on Sunday, but decided to unveil the deal
after obtaining official approval from their respective governments
during a two-day recess.
The agreement coincided with the second inter-Korean summit
being held in Pyongyang, where denuclearizing the peninsula is high
on the agenda of talks between ROK President Roh Moo-hyun and DPRK
top leader Kim Jong-il.
In accordance with the February 13 agreement, economic, energy
and humanitarian assistance up to the equivalent of 1 million tons
of heavy fuel oil will be provided to the DPRK and specific
modalities will be finalized through discussions by the Working
Group on Economy and Energy Cooperation, the statement said.
China and the ROK have each sent Pyongyang 50,000 tons of heavy
The US will fulfill its commitments to the DPRK in parallel with
the DPRK's actions based on the consensus reached at the meetings
of the Working Group on Normalization of DPRK-US Relations.
The DPRK and Japan had agreed to take specific actions toward
normalizing ties through intensive consultations.
US President George W. Bush welcomed the joint document, the
White House said yesterday.
"President Bush welcomes today's announcement, which outlines a
roadmap for a declaration of the DPRK's nuclear programs and
disablement of its core nuclear facilities by the end of the year,"
said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National
In Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said the
six-party deal has not changed Japan's position of refusing to join
any aid to the DPRK unless progress is made toward resolving the
Chinese observers considered the joint statement as an
"important outcome" to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean
"The statement gives a timetable for the DPRK to declare and
disable its nuclear programs, which is an active step in
implementing the February 13 agreement," said Liu Jiangyong, a
professor of international studies at Tsinghua University.
"It demonstrates that the related parties are pushing for
actions by fulfilling their commitments. We can expect the
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to enter a new stage."
The related parties also reiterated that the Six-Party
Ministerial Meeting will be held in Beijing at an appropriate time
and a meeting of the heads of delegations will be held prior to it
to discuss its agenda.
(China Daily October 4, 2007)