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US: North Korea to Disable Its Nuclear Plants This Year


The chief U.S. nuclear envoy says North Korea has agreed to identify all its nuclear programs and disable them by the end of this year.

The U.S.-North Korean nuclear agreement was announced Sunday after two days of negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, chief of the U.S. delegation, says the talks were "very good [and] very substantive," and that he anticipates further progress at the next round of six-nation talks about North Korea, later this month.

Hill's North Korean counterpart, Kim Kye Kwan, confirms his country is ready to "declare," or list, all of its nuclear programs, and then dismantle them, although he did not mention a specific date, while speaking to reporters on Sunday.

Kim says his country will receive additional "political and economic compensation" in return for the agreement reached in Geneva, but neither side has disclosed any further details.

In addition to nuclear programs, the U.S. and North Korean teams in Geneva were discussing efforts to normalize relations between Washington and Pyongyang, and what needs to be done if the United States is to remove North Korea from its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

After years of sporadic negotiations, North Korea first agreed in February to end its nuclear program an earlier round of six-party talks with the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

North Korea said it closed its main nuclear facility in July, and that has been confirmed by international inspectors. The Yongbyon nuclear plant was believed to be a source of weapons-grade plutonium.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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