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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
February 20, 2007

North Korea: An Important First Step

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"In September 2005, our nations agreed on a Joint Statement that charted the way forward toward achieving a nuclear weapons-free peninsula. Today's announcement represents the first step toward implementing that agreement."
--
President George W. Bush

During the Third Session of the Fifth Round of the Six-Party Talks held in Beijing February 8-13, 2007, representatives from China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, North Korea, and the United States agreed on a set of initial steps toward achievement of North Korea's reaffirmed commitment to abandon its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. The Initial Actions agreement of February 13 begins to put North Korea back on track to realize the commitments in the Six Parties' Joint Statement of September 19, 2005, in which North Korea agreed to its "abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards."

This significant achievement commits all six parties to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and will lead to a more stable and secure Northeast Asia.

As a follow-on to the February 13 Agreement, the parties also agreed to hold the Sixth Round of the Six-Party Talks on March 19, 2007 to measure progress on the implementation of the Plan of Action.

Commitment To A Plan Of Action

Within 60 days:

  • North Korea will shut down and seal its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon, invite International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) personnel to monitor and verify compliance, and discuss a list of all its nuclear programs (in advance of its commitment at a later point to provide a complete declaration of all nuclear programs and to disable all existing nuclear facilities).

  • North Korea and the United States will begin bilateral talks toward establishing eventual full diplomatic relations. The United States will begin the process of removing North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and advance the process of terminating application of the Trading with the Enemy Act to North Korea.

  • North Korea and Japan will begin bilateral talks aimed at the normalization of their relations, based on settlement of issues of concern and in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration signed by the two countries in September 2002.

  • As agreed in the Joint Statement of September 2005, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States will provide economic, energy and humanitarian assistance to North Korea. In the initial 60-day period, as North Korea takes steps, an initial shipment of emergency energy assistance equivalent to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil will be delivered.

Working Groups To Pursue Implementation of Agreement

Five working groups will meet within the next 30 days to implement the Initial Actions and the Joint Statement of September 2005. These working groups will focus on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, normalization of relations between North Korea and the United States, normalization of relations between North Korea and Japan, economy and energy cooperation, and Northeast Asia peace and security.

Economic, Energy and Humanitarian Assistance To North Korea

As North Korea complies with its commitment to declare all its nuclear programs and to disable all existing nuclear facilities (including reactors and processing plants), further shipments of economic, energy and humanitarian assistance equivalent to 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil will be delivered in line with the principle of "action for action."



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