US, South Korea Offer North 'Grand Bargain' on Nukes

Obama's envoy heading to Pyongyang next month
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 10:47 PM CST
A South Korean man shouts slogans during a rally welcoming President Obama's visit to the country and denouncing North Korea's nuclear program near the US Embassy in Seoul, South Korea today.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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(Newser) – South Korea's president says he and President Barack Obama have agreed to offer North Korea a "grand bargain" aimed at ending the North's nuclear program. President Lee Myung-bak, speaking at a joint news conference today in Seoul, said the deal would be similar to his proposal for a package of political and economic incentives in exchange for the one-step, irreversible dismantling of North Korea's nuclear program, the AP reports.

Lee's proposal stems from concerns that North Korea would continue to backtrack on promises after winning concessions in negotiations. Obama, meanwhile, said that his envoy on North Korea, Ambassador Stephen Bosworth, will travel to Pyongyang early next month for the first bilateral talks with the communist regime since he took office.