Thursday, November 19, 2009

"An irreversible dismantling of North Korea's nuclear program"

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak says he and President Obama have agreed to offer North Korea a "grand bargain" aimed at ending the North's nuclear program.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Obama, President Lee Myung-bak said the deal would be similar to his proposal for a package of political and economic incentives in exchange for the one-step, irreversible dismantling of North Korea's nuclear program.

Lee's grand bargain proposal stems from concerns that North Korea would continue to backtrack on promises after winning concessions in negotiations.

Obama said his envoy on North Korea, Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, will travel to the country early next month for the first bilateral talks with the communist regime since he took office.

North Korea has been pushing for bilateral talks with Washington to discuss the standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear program. The U.S. has agreed to the talks but has stressed they must lead to the resumption of six-nation disarmament negotiations.

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