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Tentative agreement for NK nuclear disarmamen -

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Tentative agreement for NK nuclear disarmament

Reporter: Stephen McDonell

At six-party talks in Beijing, an agreement struck between North Korea and the United States will
see up to one million tonnes of fuel oil headed North Korea's way as well as direct talks with the
United States, amied at normalising relations.


TONY JONES: More details are emerging tonight of an agreement struck with North Korea to suspend
the country's nuclear program, though a final deal is yet to be signed. The progress was made at
six-party talks in Beijing and will see up to a million tonnes of fuel oil headed North Korea's way
as well as direct talks with the United States aimed at normalising ties. In return, North Korea
has signaled that it will shut down key nuclear facilities within 60 days. From Beijing, Stephen
McDonell reports.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: North Korea has pledged to give up its nuclear weapons. In a landmark agreement
at today's six-party talks in Beijing it will receive generous energy subsidies from other
countries as a reward.

WU DAWEI, CHINESE ENVOY (TRANSLATION): After six days of serious negotiations and with the efforts
of every party, this meeting has reached an important understanding. It provides the perfect full
stop to the fifth round of six-party talks.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Under the deal North Korea will give up its plutonium-producing reactor at
Yongbyon, related laboratories and other scientific facilities and all further nuclear weapons
research. North Korea has been given 60 days to start the process. In return it will receive 50,000
tonnes of fuel oil, it gets another 950,000 tonnes of fuel when it more comprehensively dismantles
its nuclear weapons facilities, the United States will look at de-listing Korea as an official
terrorist state and says it will start direct talks on normalising diplomatic relations.

The six-nation talks nearly collapsed yesterday with North Korea asking for more energy subsidies
than other nations were prepared to give. Then, at 2am local time, South Korea's envoy announced a

CHUN YUNG-WOO, SOUTH KOREAN ENVOY (TRANSLATION): North Korea has basically agreed to all the
measures in the draft.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: International inspectors will also be allowed into North Korea to verify the
closure of its facilities. The breakthrough represents a major coup for Chinese diplomacy, as it
was Beijing that drew up the plan. The Chinese Government's strategy has always been to offer North
Korea a deal too good to refuse. Critics say the isolated regime of Kim Jong Il is being rewarded
for bad behaviour. Others say taking nuclear weapons out of North Korea is worth a high price.

The deal still has to be approved by the governments involved, so there could still be some
hiccups. But all parties involved seem serious about wanting it to proceed. A series of working
groups will now be established to map out the precise details of the agreement. The six-party
delegates will meet again on March 19 to see how the plan is proceeding.

(c) 2007 ABC