N. Korea replies to Bush's letter, says it will uphold agreement

North Korea has responded to a personal letter from President George W. Bush, saying Pyongyang will meet its obligations under a disarmament-for-aid deal and expects the US to do the same, White House officials said Friday. "We received a verbal reply," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House. "All members of the six-party talks look forward to the full implementation of" an accord meant to rid the North of its nuclear weapons. The North conveyed the brief verbal message recently through its UN delegation in New York, saying North Korea appreciates Bush's letter and expects each side to keep its part of the agreement, a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the delicate diplomacy. The message was the country's first official response to the letter Bush sent earlier this month to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. It was unclear if the message was from Kim.