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Clinton won't travel to North Korea

Clinton

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. President Bill Clinton will not travel to North Korea before the January 20 end of his term, the White House announced Thursday.

A senior administration official told CNN that the president decided against the trip because negotiations over North Korea's missile program failed to achieve a framework he felt comfortable signing.

"There were issues to resolve over existing missiles and verifications," the official said. "We've always said we wouldn't do it if we couldn't do it right."

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

The official said some progress has been made in talks with North Korea since Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's historic visit in October, but not enough to justify a presidential visit or to sign a framework agreement ending North Korea's missile program.

The White House informed both the North and South Koreans of the decision on Thursday. It also informed President-elect George W. Bush's transition team.

"There is great promise with the work we have done," the senior administration official said. "There is an opportunity to substantially reduce a major source of weapons proliferation and instability in the region."

ASIANOW


RELATED STORIES:
White House weighing N. Korean missile deal, Clinton trip
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October 24, 2000
West begins to open to North Korea
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Albright set for historic meeting in North Korea
October 18, 2000

RELATED SITES:
U.S. State Department
Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
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North Korea: Politics and Government
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