North Korea will have to “perform” to reap the benefits of the six-nation accord promising energy aid in return for the communist country dismantling its nuclear programme, White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
The agreement reached in Beijing Feb. 13 is more demanding than an accord in 1994 that failed, because North Korea must deal with China, Japan, South Korea and Russia, as well as the U.S., Snow said on 18 February 2006 on NBC’s Meet the Press” programme.
“All of a sudden, they have multiple layers of accountability,” Snow said, according to a transcript. “They don’t get the benefits until they have taken the steps.”
The Beijing accord requires North Korea to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor within 60 days in order to receive 50,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil and a further 950,000 tons if the regime disables the plant. The U.S. and Japan will hold separate talks with North Korea aimed at beginning steps to normalize relations.
“We’re not giving oil to them, the South Koreans are,” Snow said. “They’ve got to perform for the South Koreans. The Chinese have an important role when it comes to energy and economics. They’ve got to perform for the Chinese. They’ve got to deal with the Japanese, they’ve got to deal with the Russians.”
The North Koreans are being asked to take steps to improve relations with the U.S. and Japan, Snow said.