Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 21:03 UK

N Korea 'admits nuclear details'

US envoy Sung Kim shows reporters documents brought back from North Korea  (13.05.08)
A full review of the documents is expected to take several weeks

A senior US diplomat says North Korea appears to have handed over full details of its plutonium production programme to the Americans.

The US official, Sung Kim, returned to Washington from Pyongyang on Monday with over 18,000 pages of documents.

He said they were still being translated but appeared to be complete and described the handover as "an important first step".

They do not cover North Korea's alleged uranium enrichment programme.

The documents log activities at North Korea's plutonium reactor at Yongbyon, which is thought to have produced the material for nuclear tests in October 2006.

North Korea shut down the reactor last year, but failed to meet a December 2007 deadline to give a full account of its nuclear activities.

"These are operating and production records for the five-megawatt reactor and the reprocessing plant in Yongbyon," Mr Kim told a press conference in Washington.

A team of experts will review the Korean-language documents which still have to be translated, he said.

North Korea reached an agreement last year with the US, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea to end its nuclear programme in return for large-scale aid and the lifting of US sanctions.

But the deal stalled because of a dispute over whether it had fully declared all its nuclear activities.

Mr Kim said it was not yet clear if that declaration would be "ready anytime soon" to be handed to China, the host of the six-party talks.

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