U.S. and North Korea disuss nucelar arms
U.S. representative Christopher Hill arrived in North Korea Wednesday for talks aimed at solidifying a disarmament proposal previously agreed upon, according to CNN.
North Korea extended an invitation to the U.S. to participate in multi-capital talks between North and South Korea, as well as Japan and China, according to CNN.
"The North Koreans invited Chris Hill to come, so we hope that there is some effort to address the verification protocol, because that's what we need," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters Monday.
The main contention between the U.S. and North Korea are the terms regarding Korea's agreement to disable nuclear facilities at their Yongbyon site, according to CNN. North Korea has since taken measures to potentially reactivate their nuclear facilities, deaparting from the February 2007 agreement.
The North Korean government has requested a removal from the U.S.'s list of countries that support terrorism, while U.S. officials have stated that no such exemption can be made until Korea submits to verification measures which will ensure North Korean compliance, according to CNN.
CNN reports that North Korea feels the demands by the U..S are too intrusive.
According to the New York Times, Hill is delivering the verification measures proposal to Korean officials. Essentially requiring North Korea to allow visits to undeclared sites and provide soil samples at nuclear facilities.
A large reason for optimism is that these new measures specify that North Korea report to China and not the U.S., according to the New York Times. China is the lead nation in the multi-national disarmament talks.
According to the New York Times, with increasing suspicion that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's health is failing, it remains unclear who controls Korea's nuclear future.