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The Six Party Talks: Getting to Phase Three

Recorded on July 1, 2008

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Speaking at The Heritage Foundation on June 18, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signaled that North Korea will soon provide a long overdue declaration of its nuclear weapons programs and, in turn, the U.S. would remove Pyongyang from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.  Such developments would raise expectations for completing disablement of North Korea's nuclear facilities and opening the door to dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ("Phase Three" of the Six Party Talks).

It is unlikely, however, that North Korea's pursuit of a covert uranium-based weapons program and its nuclear proliferation to Syria will be included in the data declaration.  Questions remain over the scope of verification measures that North Korea will agree to.  Moreover, recent private North Korean statements suggest Pyongyang has a more restricted interpretation of its denuclearization pledge than that held by the United States.

Our panelists will assess the forthcoming data declaration and the potential for achieving significant progress in the Six Party Talks during the remainder of the Bush administration.  The panel will also discuss the requirements for verifying the data declaration and North Korean support to Syria's nuclear program.