Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The Associated Press ("N KOREA THREATENS NEW DEMANDS IN NUCLEAR STANDOFF," Seoul, 03/08/04) reported that the DPRK said Monday that it may insist on the withdrawal of US troops from the ROK as part of a nuclear disarmament deal. The DPRK said it would push the new demands if the US failed to drop its own insistence that the DPRK "completely, verifiably and irreversibly" dismantle its nuclear weapons programs. The DPRK has said it is willing to give up its nuclear program in return for energy and economic aid, as well as a US guarantee that it will not invade the communist country. In a dispatch carried Monday by the country's official KCNA news agency, the DPRK said if the US continues to insist on complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement, it would offer its own counter demands. "The DPRK cannot but demand the US completely withdraw its troops from South Korea in a verifiable way and make the 'complete, verifiable, irreversible security assurance,"' the report said.
That's very cute. Of course it is a little harder to verify the presence or absence of clandestine nuclear programs than it is to verify the presence or absence of 37,000 Americans in South Korea.

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