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US envoy reveals North Korea nuclear pledge

Mukul : risingbd.com
Publish on: 2019-02-01 8:57:39 AM     ||     Updated: 2019-02-01 4:40:24 PM

International Desk: North Korea has pledged to destroy all its nuclear material enrichment facilities, according to the US special envoy for the country, Stephen Biegun.

He said the promise was made to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he visited North Korea in October.

But Mr Biegun said North Korea must provide a complete list of its nuclear assets before any deal can be reached.President Donald Trump had earlier claimed "tremendous progress" in talks between the countries.

Speaking in the Oval Office on Thursday, the president said he would soon announce the date and location of a planned second summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

The pair met in Singapore last year, the first meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, and signed an optimistic but vague declaration of their commitment to denuclearisation.

North Korea has always said its nuclear programme is essential to its survival and that it will never unilaterally give it up unless it no longer faces a nuclear threat from the US.

In his speech at Stanford University in California, Mr Biegun said President Trump was "ready to end this war".

"We're not going to invade North Korea. We are not seeking to topple the regime," said Mr Biegun, who stepped into the role five months ago.

He said Kim Jong-un had committed, in his talks with Mr Pompeo, to "the dismantlement and destruction" of all its plutonium and uranium facilities, which provide the material for nuclear weapons.

But he reiterated that the US would not lift sanctions until denuclearisation was complete, demanding "a complete understanding of the full extent of the North Korean WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and missile programmes through a comprehensive declaration".

Source: BBC

risingbd/Feb 1, 2019/Mukul