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September 19, 2005

Breakthrough? North Korea Pledges To End Nuke Production

Wow:

The head of the U.N. nuclear nonproliferation agency welcomed North Korea's decision to allow inspections, saying he hoped his experts could take the country at its word as soon as possible.

"The earlier we go back, the better," said Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to a joint statement issued at the talks' conclusion, the North "committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning at an early date" to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

"The six parties unanimously reaffirmed that the goal of the six-party talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner," the statement said.

Responding to Pyongyang's claims that it needs atomic weapons for defense, North Korea and the United States pledged to respect each other's sovereignty and right to peaceful coexistence, and also to take steps to normalize relations.


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