A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Let's see how long this lasts

AP: N. Korea Pledges to Drop Nuclear Arms---

BEIJING — North Korea pledged to drop its nuclear weapons development and rejoin international arms treaties in a unanimous agreement Monday with other countries at six-party arms talks. The joint statement was the first ever after more than two years of negotiations.

The North "promised to drop all nuclear weapons and current nuclear programs and to get back to the (Nuclear) Nonproliferation Treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections" by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the agreement by the six countries at the talks.

"All six parties emphasized that to realize the inspectable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the target of the six-party talks," the statement said.

The North and United States also pledged in the agreement to respect each other's sovereignty and right to peaceful coexistence, and also to take steps to normalize relations.

"The United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade (North Korea) with nuclear or conventional weapons," according to the statement, assurances echoed by South Korea.

Negotiators agreed to hold more talks in November, where they were expected to move on to concrete discussions about implementing the broad principles outlined in Monday's agreement. The main U.S. envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, has warned that could still be a long process.
Is there any substantial reason to trust the North Koreans? Haven't they promised to stop their nuke program before?