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February 14, 2007
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Headline News of February 14, 2007
 
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
The US Secretary of State welcomes a deal with North Korea over its nuclear programme as a "good start".

 
The head of Taiwan's main opposition party, Ma Ying-jeou, resigns after being accused of fraud.
Turkmenistan is set to inaugurate its new leader, following the death of President Saparmurat Niyazov.

 
BBC news transcript with photos
Transcript in the news of February 14, 2007 (Topical Edition)

>> Back from the nuclear brink North Korea's decision to close the reactor is welcomed by the White House.

>> Four months after North Korea tested a nuclear weapon, it's agreed to shut down its main nuclear reactor in exchange for international aid. Including food and fuel. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who was also South Korea's former foreign minister welcomed the deal, saying that it was the first practical stage toward a nonnuclear Peninsula. 45D26D89.JPG

>>For more than a decade the world has been worried that this is what North Korea's leader dreams of every night.

>> Last October Kim, Jeong-Il made those worries grow an awful lot more. Deep underground North Korea carried out a nuclear test and proudly declared itself a nuclear power. To the anger of many including its neighbour, China. So right here in the Chinese capitol negotiators have persuaded the North Koreans to stop and go no further. This afternoon deal makers from six countries lit from all the flashes. Some of them did the same thing at the negotiating table. United States has had to move toward the  conciliation. 

>> The goal is the verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  This is a good beginning to that effort. In next 60 days we expect North Korea to shut down and seal the Yongbyon nuclear facility for the purpose of abandonment. This nuclear reactor inside North Korea is the focus of the new agreement. The regime has agreed to shut it down in exchange for valuable aid and the promise of better relations with the outside world. 45D26DDB.JPG

>> The people of North Korea could certainly do with whatever help they can get. They are among the poorest in the world.  And they have no say in their country's nuclear policy.

>> The agreement reached here in Beijing is important but it doesn't necessarily mean that North Korea gets its name scrubbed from the Access of Evil. The deal does not force North Korea to disarm, to hand over its stockpile of weapons. That central problem is left for another day.

>> So the deal suggest a new direction for the White House, and will Pyongyang keep its promise? 

>> You're watching bbc world news. A new commitment from North Korea to suspend the operations at its nuclear reactor. President Bush calls it the best opportunity for diplomacy in the region. Before becoming the United States ambassador to UN, John Bolton was under Secretary for international security policy. He led the early stages of those negotiations with North Korea and is critical of this deal.

>> Well the best you can say about it is that it's only a first step because so little of the really critical issues are addressed. I think even as a first step it's a bad deal in the sense of a bad signal. This arrangement contradicts the policy that President pursued for the first six years in office. It rewards bad behaviour, it sends a bad signal  not only to North Korea, but Iran and other would-be proliferators as well.

>> The message here is that you make a bomb, and you get a great deal.

>> No I think the message of this agreement is that if the United States is ready to normalize with North Korea, North Korea is ready to give up the bomb. This is a position that they have had all along really. They feel that United States sitting on top of 10,000 nuclear weapons is in no position to tell them they shouldn't have any. And put them on the Access of Evil list. I think that what's happened that North Korea has been ready to make the deal. It was made today. In the last three year, it's the Bush administration that has changed its position. 45D27088.JPG

>> Why?  What prompted the administration to change its policy. 

>> Just before Christmas Condoleezza Rice went to the Mr. Bush and said, "Look, we've got a foreign policy a success and we can't get this deal with North Korea." So the U.S. relaxed its essential position which was "No bilateral negotiations," and in Berlin Mr. Christopher Hill worked out in a minute a month ago which is essentially what has been confirmed today by the six-party talks. We shifted to really bilateral diplomacy with the six-party talks a mime. I think Mr. Bush wants to distract people from Iraq.

>> Let's look at the North Korean angle of the things.  North Korean media already described it as a temporary suspension. Is that encouraging start?

>> Well, everything in this agreement is tit and tat. It's a practices that calibrated. They do something we do something. So when they say it's temporary, they mean that they're watching to see whether we live up to some of the things we promised to do if they do what they said they're going to do. I think you're going to have a tough bargaining ahead. It carried forward the agreement of last year. Every step of the way is going to be hard bargaining. 45D270D9.JPG

>> Part of the bargaining is getting the inspectors in. Will they be able to see absolutely everything they need to.

>> Last 1994 to the year 2002 when the Bush administration abrogated the agreed framework the freeze in that it previously existed they were inspectors, IAEA, the U.S. Government inspectors. North Korea didn't give them a hard time at all. And nobody really disputes that the inspection process worked under the agreed framework.

>> Thank you for joining us.



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