Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says
North Korean steps this week related to its nuclear weapons are positive - but
that more cooperation is needed in the future. VOA's Kurt Achin reports from
Seoul, where she is meeting with the South Korean President and key foreign
Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice says North Korea needs to be more forthcoming about its nuclear
During Saturday's visit to the South Korean capital, she said
documents Pyongyang has provided to the United States include some references to
a suspected highly enriched uranium, or HEU, program. They also partially
address North Korea's activities to help other countries develop nuclear
technology. But Rice says what the North has provided is not
"Concerning those two issues - HEU and proliferation - I have
said before and I will say again, that we don't have the answers that we need
about either, but I expect that the North will live up to the obligation that it
has undertaken to take those concerns seriously and to address them."
United States believes North Korea helped Syria build a nuclear production
facility, which Israeli warplanes bombed earlier this year.
submitted an overdue declaration of its nuclear production this week, as part of
multinational negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear capabilities altogether.
It deals mainly with North Korea's production of plutonium, concentrated at its
In May, North Korea turned over thousands of pages of
operating records from Yongbyon to the United States. On Friday, in a highly
symbolic public display, the North blew up the facility's cooling tower.
What North Korea has not yet done is clarify
how many nuclear weapons it has, and where they are. Rice says those tasks, are
to be accomplished at future rounds of multinational talks.
"Let me just
emphasize again - at the end of this, we have to have the abandonment of all
programs, weapons, and materials," she said.
Separately, Rice said
protests over the resumption of U.S. beef imports will not harm the two
countries' relationship. She says Washington will continue to cooperate with
South Korea to build consumer confidence in the safety of U.S. beef, and to
ratify a much broader two-way trade liberalization deal. Police in the South
Korean capital braced Saturday for another weekend of street demonstrations
against the import resumption.