Deal struck in North Korean talks

Delegates of the six-party talks centred on North Korea's nuclear programme have reached a landmark agreement in eleventh hour diplomacy, capping two years of negotiations, sources in Beijing say.

    US delegate Hill (R) says his country will not attack the North

    North Korea has committed to giving up all its nuclear programmes in return for oil and power aid and security guarantees, China's Xinhua and South Korea's Yonhap news agencies said on Monday as six-party talks on the crisis appeared to reach their conclusion.

     

    Pyongyang would have the right to develop a civilian nuclear programme if it regained international trust, the reports said.

     

    The Asian nation also agreed to rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    The latest round of talks between the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia has centred on a Chinese-proposed set of principles to serve as a guideline for ending the threat of atomic bombs on the Korean peninsula.  

    But the US has rejected energy-starved North Korea's insistence on being allowed to have nuclear power, including a light-water reactor, if it gives up its nuclear weapons ambitions.

     

    Last ditch effort

     

    "This is definitely the last day of this," top US negotiator Christopher Hill said.

     

    "The DPRK (North Korea) has some demands," Hill told reporters. "The question is if anybody accepts those demands, and I think we have a pretty good arrangement on that."

     

    South Korea, China and Russia have appeared open to the idea as a way of ending the stalemate over the nuclear ambitions of Pyongyang, which has thrown out international monitors and says it has already built atomic bombs.

     

    Reports have said the so-called common document forwarded by China includes a reference to the North's right to civilian nuclear programmes, while also calling for it to abandon all its nuclear programmes.

     

    It also reportedly underscores the need for North Korea to return to the NPT and accept international inspections.

     

    Normalisation


    Pyongyang and Washington also pledged to recognise each other's sovereignty and gradually normalise relations, according to a joint statement issued at the end of the talks.

     

    In Monday's agreement, the US affirms it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade North Korea with nuclear or conventional weapons, Xinhua news agency said.

     

    Tokyo will also take steps to normalise relations with North Korea, Xinhua reported, adding that n

    o timetable was given.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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