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North Korea to give up nuclear programmes
Anil K. Joseph

Beijing, September 19
In a major breakthrough, North Korea today agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons and programmes and rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty, accept inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency after the USA agreed to normalise bilateral ties and assured of non-aggression.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, a joint statement issued after six days of nerve-wracking negotiations, said.

The six parties of the Korean peninsula nuclear talks agreed to hold their fifth-round negotiations in Beijing in early November this year, at a date to be determined through consultations, the statement, issued here today at the end of the fourth-round of talks, said.

The six parties are committed to making joint efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia. The directly related parties will negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean peninsula at an appropriate separate forum.

The six parties, the USA, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia agreed to take coordinated steps to implement their consensus in a phased manner in line with the principle of “commitment for commitment, action for action.”

The DPRK also pledged in the statement to return, at an early date, to the NPT and to IAEA safeguards.

“The United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade (North Korea) with nuclear or conventional weapons.”

The DPRK and the USA undertook to respect each other’s sovereignty, exist peacefully and take steps to normalise their relations subject to their respective bilateral policies. The DPRK and Japan also undertook to take steps to normalise their relations in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration, on the basis of the settlement of unfortunate past and the outstanding issues of concern.

The fourth round of the six-party talks were held in Beijing in two phases, respectively from July 26 to August 7 and from September 13 to 19.

Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister, Wu Dawei, who chaired the in-camera negotiations, commented that the joint statement adopted at this round of talks is the most significant achievement in the talks initiated two years ago to peacefully end North Korea’s nuclear programmes.

The six parties undertook to promote economic cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and investment, bilaterally or multilaterally.

China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US stated their willingness to provide energy assistance to North Korea.

South Korea reaffirmed its proposal of July 12, 2005 concerning the provision of two million kilowatts of electric power to North Korea.

The statement said South Korea reaffirmed its commitment not to receive or deploy nuclear weapons in accordance with the 1992 Joint Declaration of the

Denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, while affirming that there exist no nuclear weapons within its territory.

The 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula should be observed and implemented, it said. North Korea said it has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. The other parties expressed their respect and agreed to discuss, at an appropriate time, the subject of the provision of light water reactor to Pyongyang, the statement said. — PTI

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