Via LA Times:
WASHINGTON — President Clinton on Tuesday approved a deal reached by U.S. negotiators in Geneva to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, saying the agreement “will make the United States, the Korean peninsula and the world safer.”
Clearly delighted by what he considers a victory for his foreign policy, the President appeared before television cameras to hail the agreement as “the first step on the road to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.” He instructed Special Ambassador Robert L. Gallucci, the Administration’s lead negotiator with North Korea, to sign the accord Friday in Geneva.
However, the White House refused to release the text Tuesday, and Administration officials said that it will not be made public until after it is signed. Instead, Gallucci and other U.S. officials briefed reporters on what they said are its principal elements.
The accord, concluded Monday in Geneva, gives North Korea a series of economic and political benefits in exchange for promises to freeze and eventually dismantle its current nuclear facilities, which the CIA believes have been used to make the material for one to two nuclear weapons.
“The North Koreans do have an interest in a political and economic opening. They do have long-term energy needs. And we are addressing those needs,” Gallucci told reporters at a White House briefing. “They are giving up a nuclear program that posed an enormous risk to South Korea, to Japan, to Northeast Asia and to the international non-proliferation regime.