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Bush Asks Kim Jung Il For Full Nuclear Disclosure


By Paula Wolfson
White House

Bush Asks N. Korean Leader to Provide Full Nuclear Disclosure

President Bush has sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jung Il, urging Pyongyang to provide a full declaration of its nuclear program.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says President Bush sent letters Saturday to all the parties involved in the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.

She says the president reiterated his commitment to the six-party process, and called for Pyongyang to come forward with a full and complete declaration of its nuclear program.

She says, while she has not seen all the letters, that the message to North Korea's leader was slightly different because Pyongyang is the one that faces a deadline.

During a session with reporters, Perino stressed that under an existing agreement, North Korea must submit a declaration by the end of December. She describes the letter to Kim Jung Il as timely, saying the process is nearing an end and President Bush wants all the parties to keep it on track.

First word of the letter to Pyongyang came from the official Korean Central News Agency. It said U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill delivered the message to the North Korean foreign minister during a rare visit to North Korea this week.

Hill has acknowledged that he is having trouble reaching an agreement with North Korea on just what nuclear activities Pyongyang should include in its declaration. He says the list does not have to be final, but should at least be credible.

ENDS

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