North Korea Said to Agree to Nuclear Deal

A top U.S. negotiator says North Korea will dismantle its nuclear program by the end of the year. But the head of North Korea's delegation would not confirm a precise schedule.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


As Pakistan anticipates its future, the situation may have become slightly less tense with another country: North Korea. That country says the United States has agreed to remove it from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. That development comes after two days of talks between the US and North Korea in Geneva, Switzerland. Earlier, the chief American negotiators said North Korea agreed to declare all its nuclear programs and disable them by the end of this year. Here's NPR's Louisa Lim.

LOUISA LIM: Pyongyang has long wanted to be removed from the US blacklist. Now the reclusive North Korean state is saying the US has agreed to take that step. In a statement on the official KCNA news agency, an unnamed foreign ministry spokesman said the US would also fully lift sanctions imposed under the law of trading with enemy countries. However, no such announcement was made either by the US side or the North Koreans in separate new conferences after weekend talks in Geneva. Then the American negotiator - Christopher Hill - had focused on an agreement with North Korea - or the DPRK - on a timetable for declaring and disarming its nuclear program.

Mr. CHRISTOPHER HILL (US Negotiator): One thing that we agreed on is that the DPRK will provide a full declaration of all of their nuclear programs, and will disable their nuclear programs by the end of this year.

LIM: Even on this, there is still much ground for disagreement. For example, a definition of what is meant by disabling facilities. Analysts have noted that details of the agreement - such as who does what first - could still be a problem. Others have questioned the sincerity of the North Koreans. It may be no coincidence that the North Korean announcement was made on a US public holiday. This is a regular tactic in North Korea's public relations arsenal of bluster, brinksmanship and surprise. Last year, Pyongyang conducted a missile test, including a long-range weapon, on Independence Day.

Louisa Lim, NPR News, Shanghai.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.