Final Negotiations for Nuclear Declaration and Verification

Jeong Jae Sung  |  2008-04-22 19:28
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Director of the Korea Affair Office of the U.S. Department of Defense Sung Kim is leading a team of U.S. nuclear experts into Pyongyang on the 22nd to reach a final agreement regarding North Koreas nuclear program declaration.

Kim and the team of nuclear experts took an inland route through the Panmunjom to get to Pyongyang this morning and are expected, over the next two days in North Korea, to reach an accord with authorities and come to a final agreement regarding formally declared programs involving plutonium.

At the Singapore Meeting, the U.S. had proposed that North Korea make a public declaration involving plutonium and seperatedly an off-the-record declaration regarding the suspected Uranium Enrichment Program (UEP) and nuclear proliferation. It was reported that a compromise was nearly reached on both sides of the table.

The U.S. determined that more than suspicions of UEP or nuclear proliferation, North Koreas plutonium program presented the greatest threat; therefore, the team of experts will be focusing on this area.

Upon arrival at the Inchoen airport on the 21st, Kim greeted reporters, announcing that the next day the team would be arriving in Pyongyang and meeting with the North Korean Nuclear Bureau and cadres of the Foreign Ministry to discuss matters concerning the nuclear declaration and verification.

Kim expressed that expected a very detailed and substantive discussion to take place and that the team hopes to make significant progress with this visit.

The U.S. conveyed the points that must be formally reported regarding plutonium as to include: the total amount of plutonium the number of nuclear warheads a journal of operations for the Yongbyon 5 megawatt reactor and related nuclear facilities directly connected with the plutonium extraction process and an inventory of all nuclear activity related facilities and equipment.

In the case that things proceed satisfactorily as a result of the U.S. and North Koreas meeting in Pyongyang, the North will be expected to immediately submit the requested report to chairing country China, and the U.S. will proceed with corresponding management to remove North Korea from the list of a state sponsor of terrorism. It can be foreseen that the Six Party Talks will resume and discussions will commence regarding the process of verifying the nuclear declaration and advancing to the next phase.
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