Seoul : The top US negotiator in talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme said Tuesday North Korea has indicated it was not prepared to submit a complete declaration on its nuclear programmes, facilities and materials.
North Korea had promised to provide the list by the end of last year, and while Christopher Hill said he was “not too concerned about them being a little late,” he said his worries lay with whether North Korea would eventually submit a correct and complete declaration.
“It is pretty clear that they are not ready to do that,” he said upon his arrival in Seoul, where he is to meet Korean officials over the next steps to be taken in the nuclear talks.
The US envoy arrived from Tokyo and also plans to travel to Beijing and Moscow this week. The US, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia are involved in the nuclear talks with North Korea, which have the ultimate aim of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear programmes.
North Korea also missed a year-end deadline to disable its main nuclear facility in Yongbyon, 100 km north of Pyongyang. It agreed to it and submitted the nuclear declaration at the six-nation talks in return for energy and economic aid and talks toward the normalization of ties with the US and Japan.
North Korea has said it compiled a report on its nuclear programmes in November and informed the US about it. South Korean officials said, however, that there are differences between the two governments on an enriched uranium programme, which the US insists North Korea has but whose existence North Korea denies. Highly enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons.
North Korea has also accused the other participants in the six-nation talks of failing to meet their commitments under the nuclear agreement, saying promised energy shipments have been delayed.