THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Preliminary reports from President Carter's visit to Pyongyang present the possibility that the North Koreans may be prepared to make commitments and take actions that would restore the basis for a third round of U.S.-DPRK talks. In this connection, we note his report of North Korea's assurances that IAEA inspectors and IAEA monitoring equipment would be kept in place. We also note North Korea's desire to replace its gas- graphite fuel cycle with more proliferation-resistant light water technology, and its willingness to return to full compliance with nuclear non-proliferation treaty and IAEA safeguards, including special inspections, as part of an overall settlement to this issue.
As we have said, we would be prepared to go to a third round if this also means that North Korea is committed to freezing the major elements of its nuclear program while new talks took place, that is, not refueling the reactor or reprocessing the spent fuel it has just removed, and permitting the IAEA to maintain the continuity of safeguards.
We will soon discuss with President Carter the results of his trip.
We will then explore this matter through diplomatic channels.
If this meaning of the message is clearly confirmed through those channels, and we hope it will be, we would be prepared to enter a third round of talks to resolve the outstanding issues between North Korea and the international community, including the issue of IAEA access to sites that could clarify North Korean activities in 1989.
U.S. policy remains unchanged. Following the June 3rd IAEA report to the UN Security Council, it has been our position that North Korea must act to restore the basis of the U.S.-DPRK dialogue before a third round could be held. Diplomatic confirmation of North Korea's readiness to verifiably freeze its nuclear program during the talks would restore such a basis.
Meanwhile, we are continuing to consult on a sanctions resolution at the UN Security Council.
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