Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Sunday, 6 July 2008 11:18 UK

Bush 'concern' at N Korea issues

George Bush on the subjects to be addressed at the G8

US President George W Bush has said he remains concerned about North Korea's alleged enrichment of uranium and other security issues.

But, speaking after talks with Japanese PM Yasuo Fukuda ahead of Monday's G8 summit in Japan, he acknowledged North Korea had addressed some concerns.

Mr Fukuda said he would attend the Beijing Olympics opening, which other leaders will miss over rights concerns.

The G8 summit is being held at a resort

on the northern island of Hokkaido.

Our economy is not growing as robustly as we'd like
George W Bush

North Korea handed over a long-delayed list of its nuclear activities to Washington on 26 June, but it is not thought to have given details of uranium enrichment, which the North denies.

"North Korea did provide a declaration of its plutonium-related activities and did blow up the cooling tower of its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon," Mr Bush said at the summit venue in Toyako.

"That's been verified and is a positive step, but there are more steps to be taken.

"We are concerned about enriched uranium and proliferation, human rights abuses and ballistic missile programmes."

Mr Bush also promised Mr Fukuda that he would "not abandon" the question of Japanese citizens allegedly abducted by North Korea to help train North Korean spies.

BBC map

Asked by reporters about the ailing US economy, the American leader said he was committed to a strong dollar.

"Our economy is not growing as robustly as we'd like..." he said.

"The United States believes in a strong dollar policy and believes the strength of our economy will be reflected in the dollar."

The Group of Eight (G8) consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Leaders began arriving on Sunday. Mr Bush arrived in time to celebrate his 62nd birthday in Japan.

China, India and South Africa will be among other key nations attending.

Boycott 'affront'

Speaking at a joint news conference with Mr Bush, Mr Fukuda officially announced he would attend the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

Why not talk about stopping the wars in the World, as most of the G8 countries manufacture and supply the weapons
Geoff Berry, Bolton, United Kingdom

Some world leaders are missing the 8 August opening ceremony amid international concern over China's human rights record.

Germany's Angela Merkel is not attending and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be in Beijing for the closing ceremony only.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says his attendance depends on progress in dialogue between Beijing and the Tibetan government-in-exile. President Bush said on Sunday that skipping the event would be an "affront" to the Chinese people.

Japan has spent a record sum of money and deployed about 20,000 police to seal off the summit at the remote lakeside resort of Toyako.

Hundreds of protesters have again marched through Sapporo, the city closest to the venue, to demand G8 leaders take action on global warming, poverty and rising food prices.

The demonstration, which followed a similar protest on Saturday, was heavily policed and ended peacefully.

Violent anti-globalisation marches have marred past G8 meetings.

Last year, Japanese officials said this summit would be about climate change and reaching agreement on a post-Kyoto Accord framework to cut greenhouse gas emissions, says the BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo.

Mr Fukuda had said he would like to get agreement on 50% overall reductions in greenhouse gases by 2050.

But the rising food and oil prices and their effect on the global economy and the world's poorest nations have moved up the agenda.

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