U-S lawmakers are urging President Bush to impose sanctions against North Korea after Pyongyang admitted it has been developing nuclear weapons in violation of a 1994 agreement.
In a letter to President Bush (Thursday), the U-S congressmen said the United States should immediately halt all nuclear cooperation with North Korea, including work on two light water reactors. The letter calls on Washington's allies, South Korea and Japan, to do the same. The letter also suggests stopping all non-humanitarian aid to North Korea, including the export of fuel oil.
Meanwhile, U-S Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says he believes North Korea already has a small number of nuclear devices. Another U-S intelligence official says North Korea has enough plutonium to make at least two nuclear bombs.
The State Department says it is considering its next step in dealing with Pyongyang.
Earlier, President Bush called North Korea's admission "troubling and sobering." He says he still wants a diplomatic solution to end North Korea's nuclear program.
The president is expected to discuss the issue next week with Chinese President Jiang Zemin when he visits the United States.
The White House says North Korea told U-S envoy James Kelly in Pyongyang two weeks ago that it had not scrapped its nuclear weapons program, as required under the 1994 accord it signed with the United States. Officials say the admission was made after Mr. Kelly confronted his hosts with evidence of the weapons program.
North Korea lashed out at the United States in a commentary on state-controlled radio Thursday. It accused Washington of distorting the truth about North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.