In a speech this afternoon at Heritage, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said North Korea “will soon give its declaration of nuclear programs to China,” a long-awaited report that would allow the Bush administration to recommend the nation’s removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list.

In the next 45 days after that, before those actions go into effect, we would continue to assess the level of North Korean cooperation in helping to verify the accuracy and completeness of its declaration. And if that cooperation is insufficient, we will respond accordingly.

Reuters reports that North Korea was supposed to make the declaration last year as part of a deal to give up its nuclear programs. As a result, the U.S. government would change its diplomatic strategy toward the isolated Communist country.

Stay tuned for more reaction and videos of Rice’s speech.