Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Diplomacy Works

Spiegel Online:
The six-nation talks with North Korea have made even more apparent progress: After Pyongyang turned off its working reactor last week, it also shuttered four related facilities and agreed to disclose the rest of its nuclear program -- including, presumably, its bombs.

Nuclear negotiators were in a sunny mood in Beijing on Wednesday after North Korea promised to shut down all sites in its nuclear program, days after it closed its only working reactor.

"North Korea expressed its intention to declare and disable (all its nuclear facilities) within the shortest possible period, even within five or six months, or by the end of the year," said South Korea's envoy to the six-nation nuclear talks, Chun Yung-woo, according to the Associated Press.

The UN's nuclear watchdog also confirmed to negotiators on Wednesday that North Korea had closed four facilities -- a radiochemical laboratory, an atomic fuel factory and two dormant construction sites for larger reactors -- in addition to the working reactor at Yongbyon. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that its inspectors had sealed the facilities to make sure North Korea wouldn't restart its nuclear program.

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