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US reminds North Korea of its nuclear promises


Washington : The United States prodded North Korea to meet a year-end deadline to provide a declaration of its nuclear facilities, materials and programmes.

“It is unfortunate that North Korea has not yet met its commitments by providing a complete and correct declaration of its nuclear programmes and slowing down the process of disablement,” US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said in a statement Sunday night in Washington, referring also to Pyongyang’s promise to disable its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon by Jan 1, 2008.

North Korea must reveal how many nuclear weapons it has and whether it has transferred any nuclear material to other countries, Casey said.

He added that the US would work with the other countries involved in six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme – South Korea, China, Japan and Russia – to see that Pyongyang fulfils its commitments.

North Korea promised in October to declare its nuclear activities and disable its Yongybyon facility, 100 km north of Pyongyang, in return for energy and economic aid and talks on normalizing relations with the United States and Japan.

South Korea has said the biggest stumbling block in meeting that agreement has been disagreements over the enrichment of uranium. Highly enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons. The US insists North Korea has such a programme, but North Korea has so far denied its existence.