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Bush Aides Report ‘Increasing Doubts’ North Korea Will Give Up Nuclear Arms Program

The Bush administration’s top negotiators with North Korea said Tuesday that they harbored “increasing doubts” that President Kim Jong Il’s government was ready to give up its nuclear weapons program in return for security guarantees and economic incentives. The envoys, noting that there had been five sessions of talks between an American and a North Korean official at the United Nations in the last 10 months, rejected the idea that more incentives or one-on-one talks would be likely to revive serious negotiations. “I think the real issue here is not that they don’t know the benefits, but they simply haven’t made the fundamental decision whether they want to give up on being a nuclear state,” said Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, speaking at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.Full Story

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