Updated October. 05, 2007 06:37
The U.S. government announced that as a follow-up measure to the six-party agreement on North Korean nuclear issues on October 3, it would consult with the U.S. Congress on removing North Korea from its list of terror-supporting countries.
U.S. Assistant Secretary and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher R. Hill held a press conference on October 3 in Washington and said, The issue will be discussed with the U.S. Congress starting October 4, adding, A working-group discussion will be held with North Korea next week for detailed negotiations.
According to the October 3 Agreement, North Korea will completely disable its three nuclear facilities in Yongbyon. However, the timetable for the implementation of removing the North from Americas list of terror-supporting countries, a consistent request made by the North in return for nuclear concessions, was not included in the agreement.
The agreement says, the U.S. shall begin the process of removing North Korea from the list in parallel with the Norths actions. A diplomatic source from Washington said on October 3, The fact that the State Department is starting consultations with the U.S. Congress right after the announcement of the agreement reflects the expectations of the Bush administration and its hopes for the rapid development of the process, adding, It is too early to say that the timing of the official removal will coincide with the end of the year when the disablement of the Norths nuclear facilities is expected to be completed.
The label of terror-supporting country has been the rationale for economic sanctions against North Korea.