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Bush OKs sending fuel as reward to N. Korea

From Times Wire Services

washington -- President Bush on Friday authorized the first U.S. shipment of heavy fuel oil to North Korea in five years, a reward to the regime in Pyongyang for its agreement to end its nuclear programs.

The president’s order means that the United States soon will send 50,000 metric tons of fuel worth about $25 million to the impoverished and isolated Stalinist government. The White House cited North Korea’s recent commitment to complete an inventory of its nuclear programs and disable its nuclear facilities by the end of the year.

Six-nation talks on the issue resumed this week in Beijing. North Korea has shut down the Yongbyon reactor and agreed to admit inspectors from China, the United States and Russia.

The oil shipment is part of an accord forged in February by the U.S., North Korea, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea.

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