'NK promises to destroy all uranium enrichment facilities'

Trump prepares to officially end Korean War, Biegun says By Kim Yoo-chul North Korea has agreed to hand over a list of its still-unknown uranium and plutonium enrichment facilities inside the country, as its leader Kim Jong-un promised to dismantle all of its such facilities, not just the regime's well-known Yongbyon site, a top U.S. nuclear envoy said, early Friday (KST). Stephen Biegun, the special representative for North Korea, said in a speech at Stanford University in California that the North has "committed to the dismantlement and destruction" of all its uranium and plutonium enrichment facilities both to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and to leaders in Seoul. The Korea Times reported that Washington wants North Korea to provide a list of its uranium enrichment facilities as a key prerequisite in exchange for possible easing of economic sanctions. "In describing to us their commitment to dismantle and destroy plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities, the North Koreans also added the critical words and more. This is essential as there is more, much more," Biegun said during his speech. "This complex of sites extending beyond Yongbyon represents the totality of the North Korean plutonium reprocessing and uranium enrichment programs," the envoy said, adding North Korea wants Washington to take "corresponding measures," which he will discuss with North Korean officials in upcoming talks. The U.S. representative stressed Washington will not lift its sanctions placed on North Korea until denuclearization is complete. According to him, there was no "detailed or shared agreement on the definition of what denuclearization entails." "Our view is that it entails the elimination of totality of weapons of mass destruction programs in North Korea," he said, assuring that the United States will not invade North Korea. The "no invasion" initiative is understood by many in Seoul that the United States won't seek regime change in North Korea by providing it security guarantees. Regarding Biegun's comments, Cheong Wa Dae said Friday South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office agreed with the United States and North Korea to continue discussing with them for the "successful outcome" of the upcoming second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim. Seoul's foreign ministry said Biegun is scheduled to share the latest updates concerning the upcoming Trump-Kim meeting with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon in Seoul, Feb. 3. The U.S. representative plans to meet North Korean officials on Feb. 4 to narrow their countries' differences ahead of the summit. Trump said that a time and place has been chosen for his much-anticipated second in-person meeting with Kim. "We will be announcing it early next week," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "They very much want the meeting, and they really want to do something." Earlier this month, the White House announced the second meeting will take place at the end of February. Political analysts in Seoul said it's highly likely for North Korea to accept repeated requests by the United States to outline a very detailed roadmap on denuclearization at their summit. "The key point, a detailed outline to disband North Korea's nuclear program, should be announced during the Trump-Kim meeting. It really doesn't matter what type of deal as steps toward dismantling the North's nuclear program should be predictable in terms of putting conditions for a possible easing of economic sanctions," said Moon Chung-in, a special advisor on unification and foreign policy to President Moon Jae-in. "Unlike agreements reached by Trump and Kim last June in Singapore, which included vague wordings and non-binding commitments on the North's denuclearization, the upcoming Trump-Kim meeting will produce details on how denuclearization would be achieved and what reciprocal steps should be," presidential adviser Moon said. South Korea hopes for a reopening of the halted Gaeseong Industrial Complex and an early resumption of resort businesses in the North to put inter-Korean economic projects back on track.

2 views0 comments
Cross icon.png

©2019 by Q Notables.

Library key available in your welcome email.