US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Washington on Wednesday that North Korea will soon make a declaration of all its nuclear weapons programs after having missed a deadline under a six-party deal.
"North Korea will soon give its declaration of nuclear programs to China," Rice said in a speech in Washington.
Following Pyongyang's declaration, President George W. Bush will formally inform Congress of plans to remove North Korea from a list of state sponsors of terrorism and waive penalizing the country under the US Trading with the Enemy Act, Rice said.
"In the next 45 days after that, before those actions go into effect, we would continue to assess the level of North Korean cooperation in helping to verify the accuracy of its declaration ... If that cooperation is insufficient, we will respond accordingly," the top US diplomat said.
Rice made the announcement before US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill is due to visit Japan and China this week for further talks on the settlement of nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula.
Hill is due in Japan on Thursday where he will do six-party talk consultations with the government of Japan as well as some South Korean officials before going to China on Friday, State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said Tuesday.
Under an agreement reached at the six-party talks in Beijing in February last year, North Korea agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs and declare all its nuclear programs and facilities by the end of 2007, in exchange for diplomatic and economic incentives.
However, North Korea missed the deadline due to its differences with other countries in the Korean nuclear disarmament talks.
The United States has been urging North Korea to fully declare its nuclear programs and activities.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)