The Six-Party Talks, which are aimed at the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, began in 2003. The participants include North Korea (the DPRK), South Korea, Japan, the Russian Federation and the United States, under the chairmanship of China.
On June 26th, North Korea submitted a declaration of its nuclear programs to the Chinese chair of the Six-Party process, as it had agreed to do under the October 3, 2007 Six-Party Second Phase Action agreement. In return, President George Bush notified Congress of his intent to rescind North Korea's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. The President made clear, however, that in order for the rescission to move forward, North Korea needed to cooperate on reaching agreement on verification principles and a verification protocol.
On October 11, the United States announced that North Korea had agreed to a series of verification measures that represent significant cooperation concerning the verification of North Korea's denuclearization actions.
Based upon the cooperation and agreements, and the fact that North Korea has met the statutory criteria for rescission, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rescinded the designation of the North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism on October 11th. Following this announcement, North Korea resumed disablement of its nuclear facilities. This demonstrates that the Six-Party principle of "action for action" is working.
The United States welcomes recent progress made in discussions between Japan and North Korea toward addressing Japan's concerns, particularly those arising from North Korea's past abductions of Japanese nationals. The United States strongly urges the DPRK to address Japan's concerns without further delay, and wholeheartedly supports Japan's position on the abduction issue. We have not forgotten and will never forget the suffering of the abductees and their families.
The DPRK remains subject to numerous sanctions resulting from its 2006 nuclear test, its proliferation activities, its human rights violations, and its status as a communist state.
The United States will continue to work toward the verifiable end to all North Korean nuclear programs and activities, and will not stop until this work is done.