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US Sticks With Stand North Korea Should End All Nuclear Programs

All Kim's Men

Washington (AFP) Jul 27, 2005
The United States maintained its stand Wednesday that North Korea should abandon all nuclear programs, including a uranium enrichment scheme that Washington accuses the Stalinist state of developing.

"We've talked about this issue in the past in public, and our view is that North Korea would need to give up all of its nuclear programs. That would include plutonium, as well as highly enriched uranium. That still stands," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

He was responding to reports suggesting that the North Koreans had denied they have any uranium enrichment capability during the fourth round of six-party nuclear negotiations launched in Beijing on Tuesday.

The issue of highly enriched uranium, which can be used to produce nuclear explosive devices, was mentioned in a keynote speech by the United States at the talks.

North Korea denied having the secret uranium enrichment program, either for weapons or for peaceful purposes, in a bilateral meeting with the United States on Tuesday, some unconfirmed reports say.

North Korea has claimed it already possesses nuclear weapons but has never admitted having a uranium-enrichment program.

North Korea abandoned the six-party talks last year, complaining of hostile US policy, but returned to the negotiating table after a 13-month hiatus -- enticed in part by a softer US approach.

The stand-off was sparked in October 2002 when Washington said North Korea had admitted operating a nuclear-weapons program based on enriched uranium, in violation of a 1994 agreement to halt the North's weapons program based on plutonium production.

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North Korea Boasts Of The Bomb, But Can It Deliver?
Seoul (AFP) Jul 27, 2005
US intelligence experts believe North Korea has already made several crude nuclear bombs, but the jitters could turn to panic if the Stalinist state masters the art of miniaturisation.

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