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Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Saturday, 28 June 2008 12:09 UK

US doubts over NK nuclear plans

By John Sudworth
BBC News, Seoul

Condoleezza Rice with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan in Seoul, June 28, 2008
Condoleezza Rice says all efforts will focus on verification

There are still questions surrounding North Korea's nuclear bomb-making programme, according to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

She said North Korea's nuclear declaration, handed over earlier this week, left some questions unanswered.

Ms Rice was speaking during a visit to the South Korean capital, Seoul, for talks on North Korea's recent moves.

US President George W Bush has already given the long-awaited declaration only a cautious welcome.

The declaration, which details North Korea's efforts to produce plutonium for its weapons programme, was handed over on Thursday.

But the documents do not contain information about the actual weapons it has made with that material.

According to Ms Rice, nor do they confirm US suspicions about a separate uranium enrichment programme, or the passing of nuclear technology to Syria.

"I have said before and I will say again, that thus far we don't have the answers that we need about either. But I expect that the North will live up to its obligation that it's undertaken to take those concerns seriously and to address them," she said.

Ms Rice, who has been meeting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, said that all efforts now focus on setting up a framework to verify the information that North Korea has included in its declaration.

If it is found to be inaccurate, the US has threatened to reverse the measures it has taken this week to lift a number of sanctions imposed on the communist state.




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