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North Korea Agrees To Shut Down Nuclear Facilities


U.S. envoy Christopher Hill at the Beijing talks earlier this month (epa) February 13, 2007 -- North Korea has agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its nuclear program in return for fuel aid from its negotiating partners.


Delegates from North and South Korea, the United States, Russia, Japan, and China reached the agreement today after nearly a week of talks in Beijing.


The formal document outlining the agreement is to be released later today.


According to the deal, North Korea will shut down its Yongbyon reactor complex within 60 days, and will allow international inspectors to visit the site.


In return, the North will receive 50,000 tons of fuel oil or economic aid of equal value, followed by another nearly 1 million tons of fuel oil or the equivalent when it takes further steps to disable its nuclear capabilities.


North Korea is also expected to resume talks with the United States aimed at ending U.S. financial sanctions and restarting diplomatic relations.


China's chief envoy said a new round of talks will begin on March 19.


(compiled from agency reports)

The Proliferation Threat

The Arak heavy-water plant in central Iran (Fars)

BENDING THE RULES. Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told an RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing on January 9 that the West is hamstrung in dealing with Iran and North Korea because of the way it has interpreted the international nonproliferation regime to benefit friendly countries like India and Japan.


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