• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Rice Stresses Verification of North Korea's Denuclearization Promise

    Speaking to a Heritage Foundation audience, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice provided greater clarity on the US approach to nuclear negotiations with North Korea. She affirmed that the US would demand extensive verification of the data declaration, including access to nuclear facilities, and documents – a priority I have repeatedly and forcefully emphasized over the course of the talks.

    The U.S. should continue nuclear negotiations with North Korea. But it must insist on complete transparency of North Korea’s uranium-based nuclear weapons program and proliferation activities as well as vigorous verification requirements. Among other things, an extensive verification protocol should include a sufficient quota of short-notice, “challenge” inspections of suspect sites.

    The Secretary’s remarks left unclear whether North Korea’s uranium-based nuclear weapons program and proliferation activities would be included in the required “complete and correct” declaration. Also unclear was whether Pyongyong would allow verification access to facilities other than the Yongbyon nuclear complex. Recent North Korean statements to a visiting former US official suggest Pyongyang will reject an extensive verification regime similar to those in previous US arms control treaties.

    Realistically acknowledging that there is the “very real possibility” that North Korea may not give up its nuclear weapons, Secretary Rice advocated that the Six Party Talks provide the best means to test Pyongyang’s willingness to denuclearize. Ms. Rice pledged that North Korean noncompliance with its denuclearization pledge would trigger US withholding of benefits or imposition of disincentives.

    On another of the most sensitive issues at stake in the talks, Secretary Rice signaled that North Korea’s provision of its long overdue data declaration will lead the US to remove Pyongyang from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Such a move risks alienating Japan unless North Korea allows tangible progress in resolving its earlier kidnappings of Japanese citizens.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×