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North Korea Silent on Missed Nuclear Declaration Deadline


North Korea has not commented publicly on its failure to meet an end-of-year deadline to provide full details of its nuclear programs.

Instead, North Korean state media are carrying editorials Tuesday calling on the United States to end what they say is a policy of hostility toward Pyongyang.

In other news, South Korea's president-elect Lee Myung-bak, who has pledged to take a tougher stance toward North Korea, has invited Pyongyang to send representatives to his February 25 inauguration.

Pyongyang failed to meet a December 31 deadline to dismantle its main nuclear complex and provide a full declaration of its nuclear activities.

The deadline was set in an agreement reached with five other countries, including the United States, Japan and South Korea, whose governments expressed their regret over the delay.

Disablement activities are underway at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, but negotiations over the contents of the declaration continue.

U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Monday that what is more important than the timing of the declaration is that it is accurate and complete. Casey said he expects consultations later this week on the issue.

Washington noted that good progress had been made towards meeting the disablement deadline and acknowledged that recent delays were due to U.S. safety concerns.

Under the terms of an agreement between the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and North and South Korea, Pyongyang is to disable its major nuclear facilities and declare all its nuclear programs in exchange for energy assistance.

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

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