- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 20, 2002

SEOUL, South Korea A U.S. envoy yesterday urged North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, warning there will be no easy way out for the recalcitrant communist regime.
Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, speaking after meetings with Chinese and South Korean officials, said Washington will lead a global campaign to bring "maximum international pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons ambition."
South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun was visiting Pyongyang, where he said he would urge North Korea to realize the international furor over its clandestine nuclear program.
"It is of paramount importance [for the North] to wisely resolve the concern recently raised," Mr. Jeong said in a speech during a dinner hosted by North Korean Prime Minister Hong Song-nam, according to pool reports from Pyongyang. Official talks begin today.
On Wednesday, Washington said North Korea acknowledged having a nuclear weapons program in violation of a 1994 agreement the two countries signed in Geneva. The admission came at Oct. 3-5 talks in Pyongyang, when Mr. Kelly confronted his North Korean counterparts with evidence of a program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
Mr. Kelly said the Bush administration will not follow the diplomatic course that produced the 1994 agreement. Under that accord, North Korea pledged to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in return for construction of two light-water reactors. As part of the deal, the United States also provides North Korea with 500,000 tons of heating oil annually.
Critics have said the 1994 deal coddled the Stalinist regime a perception strengthened by the revelation that North Korea has been flouting that accord for years.
"This is not a replay of 1993 and 1994," Mr. Kelly said at a news conference after meeting South Korean Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong.
Mr. Kelly flew to South Korea early yesterday from Beijing, where he and Undersecretary of State John Bolton met Chinese officials, who Mr. Kelly said "made it very clear that they strongly oppose any nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula."
Today, Mr. Kelly planned to travel to Japan to continue consultations with regional powers.
He said the new revelation made it impossible for Washington to engage the North in a dialogue.
Mr. Kelly said no deadline or timetable had been set in the campaign to pressure the country to abandon its covert nuclear program, as the United States is focused now on consultations with allies.
A U.S. official in Washington said the Bush administration hopes diplomatic pressure on North Korea will persuade it to refrain from spreading nuclear weapons technology and to continue abiding by a self-imposed moratorium on test-firing missiles.
These are the key goals of the five-nation mission of Mr. Bolton, who was in China on Friday and plans additional stops in Russia, France, Britain and Belgium, the official said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he said the administration also wants these countries to exert pressure on North Korea not to reprocess spent fuel, a key element in the production of nuclear weapons.
North Korea agreed in 1999 to a moratorium on missile testing and said recently it expects to continue it indefinitely. The United States has welcomed the pledge but remains concerned about North Korean exports of long-range missiles to the Middle East and elsewhere.
The administration is now worried that, in addition to missiles, Pyongyang will attempt to export weapons technology.
Meanwhile, Karl Inderfurth, a former top Clinton administration official, said Pakistan provided significant assistance to North Korea's weapons development program in the late 1990s.
Mr. Inderfurth said President Clinton, during his second term in office, discussed the issue with former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and with President Pervez Musharraf on three occasions between 1998 and 2000.
Responding to the charge that Pakistan purportedly offered North Korea help with nuclear weapons in exchange for North Korean missile technology, Gen. Musharraf denied any such role by Islamabad.
"There is absolutely no such thing," Gen. Musharraf said Friday.

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