US warns of consequences if North Korea submits false document
The United States said Friday North Korea will face diplomatic consequences if
it provides a declaration of its nuclear activities that is misleading.
The United States is still waiting for North Korea to provide a list of all of its nuclear work over the years as part of the disarmament agreement reached in 2007. The list was supposed to be submitted by the end of December.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that if the United States or any other country involved in the six-nation negotiations "detects that the North Koreans have attempted to deceive us or attempt to provide us information which was misleading or in any way false, then there are going to be consequences for that."
McCormack's comments came on the heels of US newspaper reports that the United States was prepared to relax demands that North Korea admit to a uranium enrichment programme and to offering nuclear assistance to Syria.
Instead, North Korea would "acknowledge" US concerns that Pyongyang shared nuclear technology with the Syrians, The New York Times reported Friday. The compromise is aimed at breaking an impasse in the implementation of the disarmament deal.
In return, North Korea would be removed from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism and would be exempted from the Trading with the Enemy Act.
McCormack said any declaration of nuclear activities will be subject to "robust verification."
"We are going to withhold any judgment on this declaration until we have a chance to see it," McCormack said.
The topic will likely come up when US President George W Bush meets with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, Friday at the presidential retreat Camp David outside Washington.