September 21, 2005
Written by C.N.
As many news organizations such as CNN are reporting, North Korea has just announced that it has agreed to give up its entire nuclear program, after initially demanding that it retain the right to develop its civilian sector use of nuclear energy:
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning at an early date to the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and to IAEA safeguards,” the statement said. . . .
The joint statement also includes a pledge that Pyongyang and Washington will “respect each other’s sovereignty, exist peacefully together and take steps to normalize their relations” — a considerable change in the tone in relations between the nations. . . . In exchange, the United States, China, Japan, Russian and South Korea have “stated their willingness” to provide energy assistance to North Korea, as well as promote economic cooperation. . . .
A Bush administration official told CNN that Pyongyang’s promise is significant, but noted the North Koreans must show they will allow for verification, including rejoining the international nuclear inspections regime which would allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to re-enter the country.
As with most observers, I think this is a very promising development, perhaps even a breakthrough. But I happen to agree with the administration in this case, that promises are one thing, but actual follow-through and implementation will be something else. However, it does seem as though North Korea’s leaders are sincere this time, as they have been easing their approach towards the west and the U.S. in recent months. We’ll have to hope that this will work out to everyone’s benefit.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "North Korea to Give Up Nuclear Program" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/09/north-korea-to-give-up-nuclear-program/> ().
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