North Korea, US close to nuclear compromise: Report

October 10th, 2008 - 4:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, Oct 10 (DPA) North Korea and the United States are closer to a compromise in a last-ditch effort to salvage a nuclear disarmament deal, South Korean media said Friday.Both sides were ready for concessions in the disputed question of verification and inspection procedures of Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities, the Chosun Ilbo newspapers said, quoting a high-ranking South Korean official.

While the North indicated willingness to continue work to disable its nuclear weapons facilities, the United States could tentatively remove the country from its terrorism blacklist earlier than planned.

A deal on this was cut during talks between North Korea and chief US nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill last week in Pyongyang, the paper said. US President George W. Bush still has to give his assent.

North Korea’s resuming the disabling of its nuclear facilities and the US delisting could come as early as this month, the official was quoted as saying.

The communist state Thursday banned UN inspectors from accessing its nuclear facilities, after announcing in late September it would restart the Yongbyon nuclear complex, a reaction to the US refusal to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The United States had made proper verification of the North’s declaration of nuclear facilities and stockpiles a prerequisite for delisting.

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