Rice: 'Idiotic' to trust N Korea

Nuclear disarmament talks stalled over verification process, US diplomat says.

    Rice praised negotiations for leading to the shutting-down of the Yongbyon reactor [File: EPA]

    Her original remarks provoked laughter from an audience of foreign policy experts and students at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington on Wednesday.

    Rice said Pyongyang had agreed to a verification protocol but had refused to write down some of its negotiators' verbal assurances clarifying the document's "ambiguities".

    Fuel aid deal

    Six-party talks broke down over the issue last month, but Rice seemed positive that the US, South Korea, and Japan still had leverage over the impoverished nation under a deal which promises fuel aid in exchange for nuclear concessions.

    "I think that within the context of the six-party talks, you ultimately will get a verification protocol that allows us to deal with a lot of very troubling activities"

    Condoleezza Rice,
    US secretary of state

    "... the fuel oil shipments that they need, they need not just from the United States but also from South Korea, since South Korea has made clear that their relationship with North Korea depends in part on how denuclearisation goes," she said.

    Rice also defended the negotiations, saying that, as a result, North Korea had not produced any plutonium since 2005 and had begun to disable its nuclear complex at Yongbyon.

    She said it had also turned over thousands of pages of documents as well as some samples that "have led us to be more suspicious of some things that they might be doing".

    Rice predicted that there would eventually be progress on the verification issue.

    "I think that within the context of the six-party talks, you ultimately will get a verification protocol that allows us to deal with a lot of very troubling activities," she said.

    "This is a process that still has a lot of life in it ... North Korea negotiates this way sometimes in ups and downs."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.