Seoul, Oct.13 : North Korea welcomed its removal from Washington's list of terrorism sponsors and confirmed on Sunday that it would resume disabling its main nuclear weapons complex and allow international monitors back to the site.
Washington's decision to take North Korea off the list of state sponsors of terrorism, announced Saturday, is an important symbolic gesture for the North, an isolated and poverty-stricken country, removing one of hurdles to gaining a measure of international acceptance.
But there is much in Washington's tortuous relationship with North Korea that stays the same, including economic sanctions against the North, says the New York Times. In the past, once accords were reached, North Korea and the United States have disagreed about what was promised. The North Korean position on Sunday came in the form of remarks attributed by the Korean Central News Agency, a state organ, to an unnamed spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.
The remarks confirmed the State Department's understanding that the North Korean government would return to its earlier work disabling the plutonium plant at its Yongbyon compound. But it did not mention inspections at undeclared nuclear sites.
"North Korea remains subject to numerous sanctions resulting from its 2006 nuclear test, its proliferation activities, its human rights violations and its status as a Communist state," Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesman, said.
The list of trade prohibitions is long. It includes a ban on exports of nuclear and missile-related items, heavy conventional arms and "luxury goods," which the United Nations Security Council imposed in retaliation for North Korea's detonating a nuclear device in October 2006.