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White House Removes North Korea From Terrorist List

President Bush eased trade restrictions against North Korea Thursday and removed it from a terrorism sponsor list after the country gave Chinese officials a partial accounting of its nuclear activity. Analysts examine this policy shift.

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    In the Rose Garden today, President Bush touted as a success the years of multi-country negotiations that led to North Korea's nuclear declaration. But he was careful to point out that this was only a first step.


    There's a lot more verification that needs to be done. I mentioned our concerns about enrichment. We expect the North Korean regime to be forthcoming about their programs. We talked about proliferation. We expect them to be forthcoming about their proliferation activities and cease such activities.


    The long-awaited accounting of North Korea's nuclear development and weapons programs is expected to include details about facilities like the Yongbyon plant and list the amount of plutonium produced there.

    But reportedly missing from the 60-page declaration — and a continued cause of concern, says National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley — are details of relationships with countries the North Koreans allegedly helped.

  • STEPHEN HADLEY, National Security Adviser:

    Everybody knows about the activity with respect to Syria and North Korean assistance in building a nuclear reactor in Syria. We want to get to the bottom of that so we understand what that activity was, to make sure there is not continuing activity going on between North Korea and Syria, or activity with respect to other locations, as well.


    Israel destroyed that reactor in Syria last September in an air raid.

    From its beginning, the Bush administration has been concerned with North Korea's nuclear aspirations, especially uranium enrichment. But today, the president quickly took steps to remove the reclusive regime from the list of states that sponsor terrorism and loosen trade restrictions. He called that "action for action" and said he hoped for more change.


    The message to the North Korean people is, is that, you know, we don't want you to be hungry. We want you to have a better life, that our concerns are for you, not against you, and that we have given your leadership a way forward to have better relations with the international community.

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