US officials expressed skepticism that North Korea would fulfill a pledge to provide a complete list of its nuclear programs as American diplomats prepared to visit Asia for talks.
North Korea failed to meet a year-end deadline on the nuclear declaration under an aid-for-disarmament deal, and White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday, "It is only appropriate that we would be skeptical. This is a very closed society that has had a secret program that's been ongoing."
The US wants the North Korean declaration to address a suspected secret uranium enrichment program. That is an important sticking point that touched off the latest nuclear standoff, in late 2002.
"We don't have any indication that they will not provide" a declaration, Perino said. "But they missed the deadline and we are waiting to hear from them."