Bush administration lifting North Korea sanctions

June 26, 2008 7:04:36 AM PDT
President Bush is lifting key trade sanctions against North Korea and removing it from the list of nations that the U.S. says sponsor terrorism.

The president called a White House news conference this morning to announce what is a remarkable turnaround in U.S. policy. Bush once labeled the North's communist regime part of an "axis of evil," along with Iraq and Iran.

Today's announcement came soon after North Korea handed over documents detailing its nuclear program to officials in China.

Bush says that's a "step closer in the right direction" in the North's pledge to scrap its nuclear program. But he makes clear that the U.S. remains suspicious about the North's government, citing among other things, how it treats its people.

Bush said the U.S. remains "deeply concerned" about such things as human rights abuses, uranium enrichment, missiles and the North's continuing threat to its neighbors, including South Korea.