US delegation shown DPRK's 'nuclear deterrent' capability
( 2004-01-11 08:40) (Xinhua)
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has shown a US delegation its "nuclear deterrent" capability, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency quoted DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as reporting Saturday.
The US delegation, of US congressmen and former government officials, visited the DPRK from Tuesday to Saturday. It was led by John Lewis, an arms control expert at Stanford University, and included Sigfried Hecker, who served from 1985 to 1997 as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory which produced the first US nuclear bomb and still constructs nuclear weapons.
"As everybody knows, the United States compelled the DPRK to build nuclear deterrent (capability). We showed this to Lewis and his party this time," a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman was cited.
The spokesman said the delegation was shown the DPRK's "nuclear deterrent" capability at Yongbyon, 90 km north of Pyongyang, to dispel media reports questioning DPRK's nuclear capability.
"The permission given by the DPRK to it (the delegation) to visit the facility was aimed at giving the Americans an opportunity to confirm the reality by themselves and ensure transparency as speculative reports and ambiguous information about the DPRK's nuclear activities are throwing hurdles in the way of settling the pending nuclear issue," the spokesman said.
"Transparency serves as a basis of realistic thinking and, at the same time, a basis for resolving the issue," the spokesman said. "We never employ a sleight of hand."
He also noted that the Americans visited Yongbyon as guests, not inspectors.
But he gave no indication how the DPRK displayed its nuclear deterrent force.
Pyongyang said last summer that it completed the reprocessing of 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods.
On Tuesday, the DPRK said it is set to refrain from testing and producing nuclear weapons and even to stop operating its nuclear power industry for peaceful purpose as measures in the first phase of a package solution it proposed to settle the nuclear issue.
In the package solution, the DPRK says it will scrap its nuclear weapons program if Washington removes it from a US list of terrorism-sponsoring nations, resumes supplies of heavy fuel oil to it, normalizes relations and provides economic assistance.
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