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'N Korea to submit draft nuclear declaration soon'

world Updated: Nov 29, 2007 08:13 IST

North Korea has begun drafting a declaration of its nuclear programs to be reviewed at the next session of six-nation arms talks, the main US negotiator said on Thursday.

US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said he would be talking about the declaration with North Korean officials during a visit planned there next week. All six countries involved in the nuclear talks will discuss the declaration at their next full session in Beijing, likely to be held at the end of next week, he said.

The North Koreans "have begun to put together their list, I think it's pretty close to being ready," Hill said after arriving in Seoul ahead of his trip to Pyongyang.

The North has already begun disabling its main nuclear facilities under an agreement with the other countries at the international arms talks, which include China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US American experts at the site are taking steps so that the plutonium-making facility would require a year to become operational again.

The North is also required to give a complete declaration of its nuclear programs by the end of the year under the agreement. In exchange, Pyongyang is to receive the equivalent of 1 million tons of oil, along with being removed from US terrorism and trade blacklists.

When asked whether the North would have to detail its alleged work helping Syria on a nuclear program, Hill emphasized the declaration would have to be complete.

"We have said all nuclear programs need to be declared," he said. "All means all."

US and Israeli intelligence have reportedly found that North Korea was supporting an illicit nuclear effort in Syria earlier this year, which was targeted by Israeli bombs in September. No details of the alleged cooperation have been revealed.