5 versus 1: nations claim NKorea must disarm before receiving nuclear reactor

North Korea's partners in six-nation disarmament talks agree the North's demand for a civilian nuclear reactor shouldn't be granted until its other atomic programs are dismantled, and Washington won't give aid for a temporary freeze, the U.S. envoy said Friday.

The U.S. envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, said the three days of talks this week, which recessed Friday, were too short a period to produce a concrete plan for stripping North Korea of its nuclear programs.

North Korea has demanded a light-water civilian nuclear reactor for power generation before it agrees to disarm.

"All five countries have been very clear on the view that there will be no discussion of the light-water reactor until the appropriate time. That appropriate time is not now," Hill said, referring to the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

Hill also rejected what he said was North Korea's proposal that it receive compensation in exchange for stopping work on its nuclear programs before they are dismantled, the AP says.

"We're not prepared to make a separate agreement for them to freeze programs," he said. "We don't want to get into a situation where they stop the programs, in short, freeze the programs, and then expect us to compensate them for a freeze."

Hill also repeated Washington's demand that the North suspend work at a reactor that is producing plutonium, a fuel for bombs.

"Our view is that they should stop immediately producing plutonium because that plutonium will have to be returned and destroyed," he said.


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