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US Envoy Defends North Korean Nuclear Disarmament Deal

  • VOA News

The top US negotiator on North Korea's nuclear program has faced difficult questions from US lawmakers in both parties.

Lawmakers at a House of Representatives hearing questioned Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill Thursday over the deal agreed to earlier this year (Feb.) and signed by North Korea on October third.

Democratic Representative Brad Sherman accused the Bush administration of settling on a weak deal out of desperation for a foreign policy success.

But Hill defended the six-party accord, saying North Korea's compliance would be verified. He also said North Korea would deliver an early list of its nuclear programs within two weeks.

In six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program, North Korea pledged to fully disclose all facets of its nuclear weapons program and disable its main nuclear complex by December 31st.

In return, it will receive aid equivalent to one-million tons of heavy fuel oil and diplomatic incentives for abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

Republican Representative Dan Burton also demanded more information from Hill on the September sixth Israeli airstrike in Syria.

Hill refused to respond to questions related to Western media reports claiming the attack targeted a suspected Syrian nuclear facility built with North Korean technology.

But Burton said the State Department cannot keep information about the incident from Congress.

The governments of North Korea and Syria have denied the reports. Syria says Israel attacked an unused military building.
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