North Korean officials have reached agreement with representatives of China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and the United States, to eliminate all of its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs and return to full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. President George W. Bush commented on the accord:
"Five nations, in working with North Korea, have come up with a formula. Five nations have spoken and said it is not in the world's interest that North Korea have a nuclear weapon. And now there's a way forward. And part of the way forward is for North Koreans to understand that we're serious about this, and that we expect there to be a verifiable process."
North Korea's promise to end its nuclear weapons program, says President Bush, is "a wonderful step forward, but now we've got to verify whether or not that happens." Along with its stated intention to abandon all nuclear weapons and nuclear programs, North Korea says it will adhere to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, which would include allowing inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities.
The United States has provided security assurances to North Korea, and the five parties stated their willingness to help North Korea meet its domestic energy needs. South Korea, in particular, has committed to provide North Korea with two-thousand megawatts of electric power.
Christopher Hill is the chief U.S. negotiator for the six-party talks. He says it is a "good agreement for all of us":
"It's a big decision for them [the North Koreans]. A big undertaking, but it's absolutely the right decision for them."
The six-party talks began in 2003. The goal is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. In February of this year, North Korea announced that it had manufactured nuclear weapons. The parties will next turn to a detailed discussion of the implementation of the agreement by North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.