US says it is skeptical North Korea will fulfill nuclear pledge

The United States on Wednesday expressed skepticism that North Korea would fulfill a pledge to provide a complete list of its nuclear programs as senior US officials 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 that "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." Washington wants the North, in the declaration, to address a suspected secret uranium enrichment program - a key 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."