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N. Korea to abandon nuke weapon efforts
Updated: 2005-09-19 16:04

North Korea has agreed in principle to end its nuclear weapons project in return for security and economic commitments from the United States, in a major move towards peaceful settlement of a potential firestorm in East Asia.

N. Korea to abandon nuke weapon efforts
North Korea's chief negotiator Kim Gye Gwan, center, applauds at the close of the talks over North Korea's nuclear crisis held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, Monday, Sept. 19, 2005. [AP]

Chief envoys from the two countries, as well as China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, participating in negotiations in Beijing signed a draft accord on Monday, in which the North Korea agreed to abandon efforts to produce nuclear weapons and re-admit international inspectors to the suspected nuclear facilities.

In return, major parties to the Six-Party Talks in Beijing said they would provide aid, diplomatic assurances and security guarantees and consider North Korea's request for a light-water nuclear reactor.

China’s deputy foreign minister, Wu Dawei, announced that the six participating nations will reconvene in early November in Beijing, to flesh out details of a range of critical issues concerning timing of implementation, when the inspectors will be allowed in, and what the economic aid package include.

Analysts in Beijing forecast that next round(s) of negotiations won’t be easy and major disagreements could erupt.

Even so, the new deal reached after one-week-long laborious talks, appears to rescue a diplomatic process that was on the verge of collapse after multiple rounds of negotiations failed to produce even a joint statement of principles.

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