North Korea’s nuclear disarmament seems near at hand. Delegates from six-party negotiations returned home today to walk their governments through the plan's “nuts and bolts.” The talks fleshed out Korea’s February pledge to disarm for fuel aid. “Assuming we go forward with this, it lays out an entire roadmap through the end of the year,” said the US envoy.
The envoys hope to release a detailed joint statement in two days, Reuters reports. Already President Bush has authorized $25 million in aid, and China and South Korea have made initial fuel shipments. Russia is expected to follow. But Japan will not participate, it seems, unless North Korea makes amends for the abduction of several Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s. (Read more North Korea stories.)