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North Korea Agrees To Give Up Nuclear Programs

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, who is participating in the six-way talks (file photo) 19 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- North Korea has agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons and other nuclear programs and will also return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The North Korean pledge is contained in a joint statement issued today in Beijing at the close of the latest round of six-country negotiations on the North Korean nuclear issue.

The statement says that in connection with Pyongyang abandoning its nuclear weapons and programs, the United States, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and China have agreed to provide energy assistance to North Korea.

It says the parties are also committed to negotiating a new agreement for lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

The statement says the United States affirms that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and no intentions to invade or attack North Korea.

It says North Korea and the United States have agreed to respect each other's sovereignty and to gradually normalize their relations.

It says North Korea and Japan have also agreed to normalize their relations.

The six countries have agreed to meet again in November to discuss concrete steps to implement the statement.