US to ship more fuel oil to North Korea

February 23rd, 2008 - 5:19 pm ICT by admin  

Seoul, Feb 23 (IANS) The US plans to ship an additional 54,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil to North Korea in early March under a six-party deal aimed at denuclearising the communist country, WAM news agency reported Saturday. Under the 2007 accord, the US, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia should give North Korea one million tonnes of fuel oil in return for North Korea disabling its nuclear facilities and giving a full list of its nuclear programmes.

North Korea has so far received 146,000 tonnes, including 46,000 tonnes from the US and 50,000 tonnes each from South Korea and China.

The US move comes amid a standoff over six-party efforts to denuclearise North Korea. North Korea missed a year-end deadline to disclose full details of its nuclear programmes.

North Korea is at loggerheads with the US over whether its list should include its suspected uranium weapons programme and its suspected nuclear cooperation with Syria. It has denied both allegations.

North Korea is also slowing work on disabling its main nuclear reactor under the six-party deal after complaining that the promised oil shipments were way behind schedule.

US and North Korean nuclear officials met in Beijing last week to salvage the deadlocked six-party talks. No breakthrough was reported from the contact between US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye-gwan.

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