07/20/2009, 00.00
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Seoul and Washington preparing a “comprehensive strategy” towards North Korea’s nuclear progra

With the “step-by-step” approach a failure, US and South Korean leaders are planning a broad package to solve all the outstanding issues. A US diplomat thinks the proposal will interest Pyongyang. North Korean sources say that Kim Jong-il’s health is “quite serious.”
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The United States and South Korea are preparing a ''comprehensive'' strategy to persuade North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme, breaking from the step-by-step process that has seen Pyongyang backtrack on pledges and start up again its nuclear weapons programme. This joint approach is a response to North Korea’s unilateral decision to end six-nation nuclear talks.

Assistant US Secretary of State Kurt Campbell discussed the new strategy with chief South Korean nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac during talks Monday.

The US diplomat recently said that his government and its partners were preparing “''comprehensive package that would be attractive'' to North Korea if it returned to the nuclear talks.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told lawmakers Monday that such a package approach would be aimed at resolving all outstanding issues at once by putting all of North Korea's obligations and demands on the table.

Yu did not elaborate but said that disarming the North in phases, the approach the talks have pursued so far, is difficult because the North can reverse the steps it has taken.

The allies also talked about implementing UN sanctions approved by all members of the security Council. .

In the meantime Daily Nk, an online publication focusing on North Korea, reported that Kim Jong-il’s health “is rapidly deteriorating”.

Anonymous sources inside North Korea said that the ‘Dear Leader’ was “receiving care in a Koryo Hotel suite” in Pyongyang and that it “looks like it is not going to be easy for” him “to live until 2012.”

What ails the North Korean leader is not unknown but pancreatic cancer has been suggested. Whatever the case may be, the sources seem certain that “the condition is quite serious.”

Last Saturday Open Radio for North Korea, a pro-reunification radio station, reported that Kim Jong-Il was “walking supported by two agents from the Escort Bureau.

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