Monday, September 19, 2005

We'll believe it when we see it

The Asia Times expresses cautious optimism about today's news that North Korea has agreed to halt it's nuclear weapons program:

It's been almost three years since a crisis erupted over North Korea's nuclear ambitions but Monday Pyongyang finally agreed to give up its nuclear weapons programs and return to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The question now is whether North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is serious or stalling for time. North Korea can be unpredictable at best, while at worst it is known for breaking commitments.

"All six parties emphasized that to realize the inspectable non-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the target of the six-party talks," a joint statement said. "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea promised to drop all nuclear weapons and current nuclear programs and to get back to the nonproliferation

treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency.''

It was the first time in four rounds of six-party talks that participants have come close to coming up with a joint statement. The statement issued in Beijing, home to all four rounds of the talks, also includes provision that the United States, Russia, South Korea, Japan and China have agreed to provide energy assistance to North Korea.

The parties say they are also committed to negotiating a new agreement for lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The six countries plan more talks in November to discuss concrete steps to implement the statement.

Technorati Tags: , , ,