North Korea's decision to abandon its nuclear activities and return to a key non-nuclear treaty has received a broad but cautious international welcome.
The agreement came during the fourth round of six-party talks in Beijing aimed at ending a long standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.
WU DAWEI, CHINESE CHIEF NEGOTIATOR
The joint statement is the most important achievement in
the two years since the start of six-party talks.
US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH
Five nations have spoken and said it is not in the world's interests that North Korea have a nuclear weapon.
And now there's a way forward. And part of the way forward is for the North Koreans to understand that we're serious about this and that we expect there to be a verifiable process.
In other words they have said, in principle, that they will abandon their weapons programs.
And what we have said is, 'Great. That's a wonderful step forward.' But now we've got to verify whether or not that happens.
CHRISTOPHER HILL, US CHIEF NEGOTIATOR
It is a big decision for them but is absolutely the right decision for them.
The success or prosperity of the DPRK [North Korea] does not
depend on nuclear weapons. In fact, it depends on relations with the
others. So this is a moment which will be very important in their
KIM MAN-SOO, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN
The adoption of the joint statement in the fourth round of the six-party talks heralded a crucial opportunity to resolve the North's nuclear issue.
We hope that the adoption of the statement will serve as an opportunity to advance practical ways to help peace take root on the Korean Peninsula.
KENICHIRO SASAE, JAPANESE CHIEF NEGOTIATOR
There may be some difficulties to realise the denuclearisation of North Korea but Japan will keep close cooperation with the countries concerned, including the US, and make utmost efforts in order to achieve the common goal of realising peace and stability in north-east Asia.
We must secure specific agreements regarding the implementation of the agreed principles, particularly the specific sequence towards realisation of the abandonment of nuclear programmes by N Korea and verification measures.
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT
The most important part of this document is the obligation assumed by Pyongyang to refuse nuclear weapons, all existing nuclear programmes and probably to return in a shortest possible time into the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER PHIL GOFF
Obviously we await confirmation that that pledge will be carried into practice.
Our celebration very much depends on the follow-through to the
undertaking that North Korea has apparently made.