US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with her South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-Hwan in Washington on Wednesday with the two sides urging North Korea to disclose fully all its nuclear programs as soon as possible.
"It is really time now for there to be movement on the declaration so that with that declaration we have, we can move forward on the next phase," Rice told reporters after the talks with Yu.
In response, Yu also said "we are working in close coordination to persuade North Korea to submit a complete and correct declaration" so that six parties – the United States, China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Russia could soon resume their talks on the settlement of nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula.
"Regarding the North Korean nuclear issue and declaration, I think time and patience is running out," the South Korean minister said.
Under an agreement reached in October 2007 at the six party talks, North Korea agreed to disable its key nuclear facilities at the Yongbyon complex, and to declare all other nuclear programs by the end of the year.
North Korea has denied that it had missed the deadline to submit that declaration, saying "other participating nations delay the fulfillment of their commitments, North Korea is compelled to adjust the tempo of the disablement of some nuclear facilities on the principle of 'action for action'."
(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2008)