Bush welcomes North Korea’s nuclear declaration (Second lead)

June 26th, 2008 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 26 (Xinhua) The US Thursday hailed the nuclear declaration by North Korea and said it would respond by lifting trade sanctions on the country and take it off the list of “state sponsors of terrorism”. “Today is a positive day, it’s a positive step forward. There’s more work to be done and we’ve got the process in place to get it done in a verifiable way,” President George W. Bush said in a statement in the White House Rose Garden.

Bush said in the next 45 days his administration would lift sanctions on Pyongyang and notify the Congress to remove the country from the list of “state sponsors of terrorism”.

Bush also welcomed North Korea’s plans to demolish the cooling tower at the Yongbyon nuclear complex.

Bush said North Korea’s nuclear declaration was just the beginning, and not the end, of the process.

The president insisted that the US “has no illusions about the regime in Pyongyang,” and urged the communist country to disclose all its nuclear programmes and activities.

“This isn’t the end of the process, this is the beginning of the process,” Bush said.

Pyongyang Thursday submitted the details of its nuclear programme to China, the chair of the six-party talks in Beijing, and pledged to dismantle its nuclear facilities and stockpiles.

China’s negotiator at six-party talks for North Korean denuclearisation, Wu Dawei said the declaration would be subject to verifications and all the six parties to the talks - the US, Russia, China, Japan, South and North Korea - have agreed on it.

“We believe that the developments will be conducive to implementing the second-phase actions in a comprehensive and balanced manner, and the final realization of all the goals in the Sep 19, 2005 joint statement,” Wu said.

North Korea agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and declare all its nuclear programmes and facilities by the end of 2007, in exchange for diplomatic and economic incentives.

However, the communist country missed the deadline despite reported progress in its nuclear disablement and declaration.

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