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13 Feb, 2007 00:43

Talks on North Korea's nuclear activities make good progress

Talks on North Korea's nuclear activities make good progress

A tentative agreement aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear activities has been reached. North Korea is reported to have agreed to shut down its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon and publish a list of its other nuclear facilities.

It has taken more than 16 hours of negotiations to establish what compensation Pyongyang will get in return and some details remain unsolved.

Negotiators from Russia, China, South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement with North Korea that could eventually lead to North Korea dismantling its nuclear program.

The deal has yet to be approved by the governments of the countrys involved in the talks, but it is seen as major step forward.

“There was an agreement on the key differences. All sides agreed on key differences in the document. North Korea basically agreed to all the measures in the draft,” South Korean envoy, Chun Yung-Woo, emphasized.

The deal would see Pyongyang curbing its nuclear activities in exchange for economic aid. But it is the size of that aide that has led to previous negotiations faltering.

North Korea wants hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into the country. But nuclear envoys have agreed on the size of aid they're willing to give, and urged the country to accept the deal.

“North Korea already knows how far we can go. It knows how far we will go to take counter measures in accordance with how much North Korea takes steps towards de-nuclearisation. I expect North Korea will form their position based on that,” said Chun Yung-woo.

Now the sides are looking forward to implementing the deal. Five groups are to be set up to oversee the process.

“We don't want to miss the deadlines, because if you start missing the deadline then you know other things start missing, and before you know it things aren't getting done. So we are going to have to get moving pretty quickly on some of the working groups,” stressed the U.S. envoy to six-party talks Christopher Hill.

Meanwhile the Japanese envoy says it is too early to tell if Tokyo is satisfied with this latest deal. And the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov says there are still many questions regarding details.

So issues to be resolved, but all sides appear to have adopted an optimistic wait-and-see approach.