Report: North Korea to submit nuclear declaration next week
North Korea is to hand over a list of its nuclear activities next week amid a push to jump-start six-nation talks on ending its nuclear programmes, a South Korean media report said Friday.
Pyongyang agreed to hand over the declaration around Thursday to China, one of its only allies and host of the nuclear talks, the Yonhap News agency reported, citing unnamed sources in Seoul familiar with the talks, reported dpa.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday in Washington that North Korea would "soon" provide an accounting of all of its nuclear work.
The United States would respond by taking steps to remove North Korea from the US State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism and toward ending sanctions on Pyongyang, Rice said.
Washington will, however, carefully examine North Korea's nuclear declaration to assure that it is a complete account of all of Pyongyang's nuclear activities, the top US diplomat said.
North Korea had promised to declare its nuclear activities and disable its key nuclear facility in return for energy and economic aid from South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.
The deadline for it to fulfill its promises was the end of 2007, and its failure to fulfill its pledges have brought the six-nation talks to a standstill.
A diplomatic source in Seoul privy to the nuclear talks told Yonhap that once North Korea is removed from the US terrorism list, it pledged to blow up the cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear facility, 100 kilometres north of Pyongyang.
"North Korea is demanding money from the US and other related nations in return for destroying the cooling tower," an official with South Korea's Foreign Ministry told Yonhap on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Rice was scheduled to visit Japan, South Korea and China Thursday through June 30 as part of an East Asian trip.