North Korea will abandon its nuclear programs only if other countries create a welcoming political environment and remove the threats that Pyongyang claims pushed it to develop its atomic arsenal, South Korea's main nuclear envoy said Friday.
Chun Yung-woo told foreign reporters in Seoul that Pyongyang appeared committed to at least disabling its existing nuclear programs under an agreement last week in Beijing with the US and other regional powers. But whether the country will also relinquish existing nuclear weapons and material - believed enough for as many as a dozen bombs - will depend on the other countries involved.
"What is important is not to give any excuse to North Korea to delay its denuclearization obligations and for it to avoid implementation of its end of the deal," Chun said. "What is important is to create a political climate that can address their threat perceptions."