Draft sees North Korea disablement by year-end

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TOKYO, Oct 1 (Reuters) North Korea could disable its nuclear facilities by the end of this year under a tentative accord reached in six-party negotiations over its nuclear programmes, Japanese media reported today.

Talks between the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia ended yesterday to allow delegates to discuss a joint statement, which includes details on the next phase of the denuclearisation plan, with their governments.

Under the draft agreement, North Korea would disable three facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex and declare its nuclear programmes -- including its uranium enrichment plans -- by the end of the year, newspapers reported.

North Korea's request to be removed from a US terrorism blacklist is also mentioned in the document, but without a time-frame for dealing with the issue, the newspapers added.

Wu Dawei, the head of the Chinese delegation, said on Sunday the six-party talks would go into ''recess'' for two days but that after that the document should be made public.

On Friday, US President George W Bush authorised 25 million dollars in aid, including up to 50,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, for North Korea as a reward for Pyongyang's commitment to disabling its nuclear facilities.

Under the first steps in an agreement in February, North Korea has shut down and sealed the Yongbyon plant in return for energy aid and moves towards bringing it out of diplomatic isolation.

But the country must still disable its nuclear arms programmes and declare all its nuclear activities in order to receive 950,000 tonnes of heavy fuel.


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