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2 Koreas adhering to arms accord

The Clinton administration says both North Korea and South Korea are complying with the agreement aimed at ridding the Korean peninsula of the capability of building nuclear weapons.

In separate assurances Tuesday, President Clinton said North Korea would have all its weapons-grade nuclear fuel safely stored by April 1, and Albright told Congress the Asian financial crisis would not hinder South Korean financing of a $5 billion nuclear power project that is part of the agreement.Clinton, in a memo to Albright for relay to Congress, said North Korea has been canning and safely storing all spent fuel from its existing graphite-moderated nuclear reactors.

Unlike the planned light-water reactors, the existing reactors can produce significant quantities of weapons-grade plutonium. The North Koreans insist they never intended to build nuclear weapons.

Clinton said both North Korea and South Korea are making progress toward cross-border talks and U.S. aid to North Korea is being properly handled.

"North Korea has not significantly diverted assistance provided by the United States for purposes for which it was not intended," Clinton said in the formal declaration.