In a stunning 180 degree turn after weeks of increasing tensions between North Korea and the US and reports that North Korea was preparing to restart its Yongbyon nuclear facility, the source of the plutonium for its 2006 nuclear test explosion, North Korea has announced that it will resume dismantling its nuclear facilities.
Top US negotiator Christopher Hill described the North Korean moves as “a rough-and-tumble moment” in the ongoing negotiations, an assessment which seems confirmed after the new announcement, which came just hours after the Bush Administration agreed to remove the nation from its terrorism blacklist. North Korea announced its intentions to restart the program after the US announced in August that it would not follow through on its promise to remove the North from the list unless they agreed to additional demands on verification.
It is unclear how many of the initial US demands have been met, but the new “verification protocol” will reportedly be adopted by the six nations involved in the talks “in the near future.” North Korea’s state news agency reports that the government welcomed the US move, and promised to cooperate with the disablement so long as the other parties continue to fulfill their compensatory promises.
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