North Korea says it’s ready to dismantle all its nuclear facilities before the end of this year. It made the declaration at the resumption of six-nation talks in Beijing on the North Korean nuclear problem. UN weapons inspectors have confirmed that its main Yongbyon plant was shut down at the weekend.
In the five years since weapons inspectors were expelled from North Korea it’s thought to have harvested enough plutonium for up to a dozen nuclear bombs.
Nuclear negotiators, going into the talks, said
it was vital to agree the next steps with Pyongyang.
“We have to draw up a road map for the denuclearisation of North Korea and remove any hidden obstacles,” said the South Korean nuclear negotiator, Chun Yung-Woo.
The carrot for North Korea has been fuel and food aid.
50,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil is already being shipped from South Korea.
Much more is being offered if Pyongyang gives up all its nuclear capability.