The existence of the Enriched Uranium program is a critical issue to solve the nuclear problem...
U.S. says N.K. yet to provide full declaration of nuclear programs
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Yonhap)
North Korea has yet to provide a full declaration of its nuclear programs despite its reference to having done so in November, the White House said Friday.
"Unfortunately, we have not yet received a complete and correct declaration, and we urge North Korea to deliver one soon so that we can all get the benefits offered in the six-party process," spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters.
At the State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack also he U.S.
was "still waiting" for the declaration and expects it to include the controversial uranium weapons program.
The North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoting an unnamed foreign ministry official, said Pyongyang had drawn up the declaration in November and "notified" the United States of it.
The report said North Korea also had additional consultations with Washington.
South and North Korea, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan are members of the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Through a series of agreements, Pyongyang agreed to eventually give up its atomic weapons in return for political and economic benefits, such as diplomatic normalization with Washington and Tokyo.
Described as "action for action," the agreements lay out interim steps that required North Korea to disable its key nuclear facilities and submit a declaration detailing its nuclear stockpile and proliferation activities by the end of 2007.
Other parties would reciprocate by supplying energy aid, and the U.S. was to remove North Korea from the list of terrorism-sponsoring states, a measure that prohibits bilateral exchanges between them.
Christopher Hill, top U.S. nuclear envoy to the six-party talks, said there was discussion with Pyongyang about the contents of the declaration but that he does not regard it as the final disclosure.
"We've been notified about some of the contents," Kyodo quoted him as saying at the airport before leaving for Asia. "But when we receive a declaration, first of all, the declaration should be received by the chairman of the six-party talks -- the Chinese."
Hill was in Pyongyang last month and is said to have pressed North Korean officials to include all the required details in the declaration. U.S. officials said Pyongyang wanted to hand over the declaration to Washington, possibly to make the issue a bilateral one, but Hill made a point of ensuring that it is given to China.
Instead, Hill and the North Koreans discussed the contents as "reference material," they said.
The KCNA report said North Korea still hopes for "smooth implementation" of the six-party deals but blamed others for not meeting their obligations, such as a delay in fuel delivery and removal from the terrorism list.
"Looking back, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea stands foremost ahead in implementation among the six parties," it said.
"Regarding the nuclear declaration that some are wrongfully making an issue of, we have already done what is required."
The White House said it was "skeptical" after Pyongyang missed the year-end deadline on the declaration, but U.S. officials have reaffirmed the six-party process will continue, that they still expect the North to submit a "full and complete" disclosure of its nuclear programs.
McCormack said the complete declaration includes Pyongyang's suspected uranium enrichment, an alternative to plutonium in making atomic weapons.
There has to be "certainly an explanation of the (uranium) program, whatever state it happens to be in and happens to exist," he said.
He declined to go into details of talks with the North Koreans but said the message has been the same.
"I can say from our side the general message was that they need to provide a full and complete declaration."
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Yonhap)