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North Korea Proposes Five-Point Plan for Disarmament


South Korea says North Korea has proposed a five-step plan to give up its nuclear weapons program. But the plan appears contingent upon Pyongyang getting the aid it is demanding. The proposal came at last week's six-nation negotiation in Beijing and appears to be the first time that North Korea has detailed an action plan.

South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young told reporters in Seoul Monday Pyongyang presented a five-point plan last week in Beijing for getting rid of its nuclear weapons program.

This is the first disclosure of the plan since last week's fifth round of talks in the Chinese capital, bringing together South Korea, China, the United States, Japan, and Russia.

Mr. Chung says the North Koreans say they would halt plans for a nuclear test and refrain from transferring nuclear materials or technology. Later, North Korea would formally end construction of any more nuclear weapons, and eventually dismantle its nuclear programs under international supervision.

As a final step, North Korea would return to the global Non-Proliferation Treaty it withdrew from in January 2003. Mr. Chung calls the North Korean proposal "meaningful." Mr. Chung says the North Korean road map, as he calls it, helps confirm Pyongyang's intention to eventually abandon its nuclear capabilities.

In September, Pyongyang did agree to abandon its nuclear ambitions in exchange for security guarantees and energy aid. But it quickly added a new demand for a light water nuclear reactor to produce electricity.

North Korea left the Beijing talks last week repeating that it will only act after its demands are met.

The United States and the other four negotiating nations Friday ruled out considering any nuclear energy concessions until North Korea completely dismantles its current programs - which are in violation of multiple international agreements.

The crisis began in late 2002 when the United States said North Korea admitted to having a secret uranium-based nuclear program. North Korea has since reactivated its plutonium-based nuclear programs and claims to have built nuclear weapons - something international experts believe to be true.

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