Friday, September 19, 2008

Another failure for U.S. diplomacy?

In yet another apparent failure for Bush administration diplomacy, North Korea said Friday it would restart its Yongbyon nuclear plant that was being dismantled under an international aid pact. North Korea said it had already begun rebuilding Yongbyon, a Soviet-era nuclear facility that generated plutonium for North Korea's nuclear weapons, despite agreeing last year to dismantle the plant in exchange for economic assistance from China, the United States, Japan, Russia and South Korea. North Korea pulled out of the deal to protest U.S. refusal to remove it from a terrorism blacklist without additional verification of its disarmament claims, according to the Reuters international news service. "The DPRK (North Korea) neither wishes to be delisted as a 'state sponsor of terrorism' nor expects such a thing to happen," the North's official KCNA news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying Friday, Reuters said. North Korea exploded a nuclear device two years ago. But U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said it would take months for North Korea to restart the Yongbyon plant. "They have not got to that point yet. We would urge them not to get to that point," McCormack said, according to Reuters.

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