N. Korea urged to finish dismantling task

Feb. 28, 2008 at 9:58 AM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A former U.S. security official urged North Korea to finish its denuclearization work before President George Bush leaves office next year.

Former U.S Defense Secretary William Perry met with North Korea's top nuclear negotiator, urging Kim Kye Gwan to complete the delineation of North Korea's nuclear capabilities while he is in office, Yonhap news agency reported.

Donald Gregg, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, said he and Perry stressed the importance of pushing forward with denuclearizing the Korean peninsula before the next U.S. president takes office in January. The three met prior to the New York Philharmonic's landmark concert Tuesday in Pyongyang.

International negotiations about North Korea's deactivating its nuclear weapons programs progressed last year as disabling the Yongbyon plant began. This year, however, the pace has slowed.

"Our feeling basically is that Kim took it very seriously, and I was very happy to be part of delivering that message," Gregg said.

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