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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 02:55 GMT 03:55 UK
N Korea 'nuclear admission': US statement
President George Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell
Bush "tried to improve relations"
Following is the text of State Department spokesman Richard Boucher's statement on North Korea's admission that it has a secret nuclear arms programme.

Earlier this month, senior US officials travelled to North Korea to begin talks on a wide range of issues.


President Bush had developed a bold approach to improve relations with North Korea

During those talks, Assistant Secretary James Kelly and his delegation advised the North Koreans that we had recently acquired information that indicates that North Korea has a programme to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons in violation of the Agreed Framework and other agreements.

North Korean officials acknowledged that they have such a programme.

The North Koreans attempted to blame the United States and said that they considered the Agreed Framework nullified.

Assistant Secretary Kelly pointed out that North Korea had been embarked on this programme for several years.

Serious violation

Over the summer, President Bush - in consultation with our allies and friends - had developed a bold approach to improve relations with North Korea.


Everyone in the region has a stake in this issue and no peaceful nation wants to see a nuclear-armed North Korea

The United States was prepared to offer economic and political steps to improve the lives of the North Korean people, provided the North were dramatically to alter its behaviour across a range of issues, including its weapons of mass destruction programmes, development and export of ballistic missiles, threats to its neighbours, support for terrorism, and the deplorable treatment of the North Korean people.

In light of our concerns about the North's nuclear weapons programme, however, we are unable to pursue this approach.

North Korea's secret nuclear weapons programme is a serious violation of North Korea's commitments under the Agreed Framework as well as under the Non-proliferation Treaty, its International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement, and the Joint North-South Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The administration is consulting with key members of Congress, and will continue to do so.

Opportunity

Under-Secretary of State John Bolton and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly are travelling to the region to confer with friends and allies about this important issue.

The United States and our allies call on North Korea to comply with its commitments under the Non-proliferation Treaty, and to eliminate its nuclear weapons programme in a verifiable manner.

We seek a peaceful resolution of this situation.

Everyone in the region has a stake in this issue and no peaceful nation wants to see a nuclear-armed North Korea.

This is an opportunity for peace-loving nations in the region to deal, effectively, with this challenge.


Nuclear tensions

Inside North Korea

Divided peninsula

TALKING POINT
See also:

17 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
07 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
07 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
09 May 02 | Americas
12 Dec 01 | In Depth
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