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Archive for Saturday, September 29, 2007

U.S. to give $25M to N. Korea for fuel aid

September 29, 2007

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— The United States on Friday announced it would spend up to $25 million to pay for 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil for North Korea - part of an agreement the communist regime made with the U.S. and other nations pushing it to dismantle its nuclear program.

Under a February agreement, the U.S. and other participants in the six-party negotiations with Pyongyang agreed to provide North Korea with 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil, or the monetary equivalent in other aid and assistance.

In return, North Korea agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor, which it did in July, and then declare and ultimately dismantle all its nuclear programs.

The order, which President Bush signed after consultations with Congress last week, comes a day after the six-party talks on disabling North Korea's nuclear program resumed in Beijing. Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. envoy to the talks, said the negotiations were entering an important phase. North Korea has described this round of negotiations as make-or-break.

North Korea has met its commitments to date with respect to shutting down the Yongbyon facilities and allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency to do monitoring and verification work, said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House.

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