South Korea President Bush said today that North Korea has much to do before the U.S. can remove it from the terror blacklist, but expressed hope that its pariah status as a member of the "axis of evil" could some day be a thing of the past.
Pyongyang expects Bush to remove it from the U.S. list of terror-sponsoring countries as soon as next weekend, as promised when the North blew up its nuclear reactor cooling tower in June. But Bush, speaking at a news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, said North Korea must first agree to international terms for verifying its dismantlement efforts.
"I don't know whether or not they're going to give up their weapons," Bush said. "I really don't know. I don't think either of us knows."
Lee called North Korea "a very difficult opponent."
But, he added: "I will be patient and I will be consistent. I have faith we will be able to move to the verification process, then to the next step."