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Seoul Urges North Korea to Give Details of Its Nuclear Programs


South Korea says the North Korean government must disclose the full extent of its nuclear weapons programs before the next round of talks about its nuclear disarmament takes places.

At the last round of six-country talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, Pyongyang agreed in principle to give up all nuclear-weapons programs in return for economic aid and security guarantees.

Speaking at Seoul's Foreign Correspondents' Club, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon said it is time for the North to disclose exactly what those nuclear programs entail.

"North Korea should faithfully declare its nuclear weapons, facilities and programs," said Mr. Ban.

Mr. Ban also said that South Korea, Japan, the United States, Russia, and China must provide a detailed plan of the economic assistance they are prepared to give to the North.

The six nations are tentatively expected to return to the negotiating table next month. Mr. Ban said the talks needed to reach consensus on how to implement the agreements reached at the last round of talks, in September.

He expressed regret at the North's surprise comment after those talks, that it would not dismantle its nuclear arsenal until the United States supplied it with a light-water nuclear reactor for peaceful power generation. He said that was a matter to be discussed after Pyongyang had lived up to the commitments it has made.

"North Korea should abandon all nuclear programs, rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and accept IAEA inspection," added Mr. Ban. "And we believe, in the course of that process, there will naturally come a right moment to discuss the light-water issue."

The foreign minister's comments were made before the arrival of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who is in Seoul to review the U.S.-South Korean military alliance. That alliance is aimed in large part at protecting South Korea against another invasion by the North.

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