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North Korea to submit nuclear list in days: U.S. envoy

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SEOUL (Reuters) - The chief U.S. envoy to talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program said on Thursday he expects the secretive state to release a full account of its atomic possessions within days.

“We look forward to receiving in the next few days, certainly within the next week, a comprehensive list from the North Koreans on all their nuclear programs, materials and facilities,” Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told business leaders in Seoul.

Under a deal the North struck with regional powers, it must disable its plutonium-producing nuclear complex and provide a complete list of its atomic arms activity by the end of the year in exchange for aid and an end to its status as an international pariah.

Hill will travel next week to North Korea for his first look at the isolated state’s Soviet-era Yongbyon nuclear complex.

The United States expects the North will declare it produced about 50 kg (110 lb) of plutonium, which experts say conservatively is enough for six to eight bombs, and answer questions about a secret program to enrich uranium for weapons.

“With respect to uranium enrichment, we do need acknowledgement of what has gone on. We need an explanation of how it went on and we need a disposition of any equipment involved in uranium enrichment,” Hill said.

Separately, a team of experts in North Korea to oversee the disabling of its atomic facilities said on Thursday they were satisfied with progress.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; editing by David Fogarty