Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Richardson's North Korea Visit Yields Nuke Breakthrough

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's visit to North Korea appears to be yielding unexpected fruit.
Richardson, part of a bipartisan delegation dispatched to North Korea to return remains of U.S. MIAs, appears to have secured a concession from the communist state on its developing nuclear weapons program.
Monday, a North Korean nuclear arms negotiator relayed to Richardson that the country would be willing to allow international U.N. arms inspectors into the country if some $25 million in North Korean money that has been frozen is released.
On Tuesday, U.S. envoy Christopher Hill signaled from Tokyo the U.S. willingness to deal.
What was positive coming out of Pyongyang (the North Korean capitol) yesterday is the report that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is prepared to take these actions to get the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in there, and take these first steps, said Hill.
The North Koreans also told Richardson that it will be difficult to stop production at the country's main nuclear reactor by Saturday, a pre-negotiated deadline. A State Department spokesman responded that the U.S. might not object to extending the deadline.
Richardson, a Democratic candidate for president, is expected to return to New Mexico on Friday.

No comments: