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Statement by President Bush

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580


WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 /Standard Newswire/ -- The following text is a statement by President Bush:


I am pleased with the agreements reached today at the Six Party Talks in Beijing.  These talks represent the best opportunity to use diplomacy to address North Korea’s nuclear programs.  They reflect the common commitment of the participants to a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons. 


In September 2005, our nations agreed on a Joint Statement that charted the way forward toward achieving a nuclear weapons free peninsula.  Today’s announcement represents the first step toward implementing that agreement. 


Under the agreements reached today, North Korea has committed to take several specific actions within the next 60 days.  Among other things, North Korea has agreed to shut down and seal all operations at the primary nuclear facilities it has used to produce weapons-grade plutonium and has agreed to allow international inspectors to verify and monitor this process.  In addition to those immediate actions, North Korea has also committed to disclose all its nuclear programs and disable its existing nuclear facilities –- as an initial step toward abandoning all of those programs and facilities under international supervision. 


The other parties have agreed to cooperate in economic, humanitarian, and energy assistance to North Korea.  Such assistance will be provided as the North carries out its commitments to disable its nuclear facilities. 


I commend Secretary Rice, Ambassador Hill, and our negotiating team in Beijing for their hard work.