S. Korean envoy: North to shut main nuclear site

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March 18, 2007 02:30




North Korea sent mixed signals on its nuclear disarmament, saying it was preparing to shut down its main plutonium program but that no action would be taken unless frozen funds were released from a Macau bank. Arriving from Pyongyang for follow-up meetings on a disarmament agreement reached last month, North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Kye Gwan told reporters Saturday that North Korea "will not stop its nuclear activity" until all of the US$25 million in Banco Delta Asia was returned. But later in the day, another North Korean diplomat, Kim Song Gi, said the regime has "begun preparations to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facility" as part of the February pact, South Korean nuclear envoy Chun Yung-woo told reporters afterward. The diplomat also promised that North Korea will submit a list of its nuclear programs and disable its nuclear facility "as soon as the right conditions are created," Chun said, without explaining what the conditions were.


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