Annan to continue consultations on Korean nuclear issue

5 September 2003

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will continue to consult closely with all parties involved in the “critical” issue of the nuclear weapons programme of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a statement issued by his spokesman said today.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will continue to consult closely with all parties involved in the “critical” issue of the nuclear weapons programme of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a statement issued by his spokesman said today.

“There was a sense of cautious optimism, in the context of the six-party meetings in Beijing, on the prospects for a peaceful resolution of the current impasse,” the statement said of talks Mr. Annan’s Personal Envoy, Maurice F. Strong, had last week in Seoul, capital of the Republic of Korea, about the meeting China hosted on the issue.

It noted that Mr. Strong also visited Beijing this week, where he welcomed the holding of the talks and commended China’s important role in convening “this useful forum” bringing together China, Japan, DPRK, ROK, Russia and the United States.

“In both Seoul and Beijing, Mr. Strong reaffirmed the active support of the Secretary-General for continuation of the negotiating process towards a comprehensive settlement,” the statement said. “The Secretary-General will continue to consult closely with the parties involved on this critical issue.”

Earlier this week, Mr. Annan specifically called on the DRPK to ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty forthwith. The DPRK is one of 12 countries whose ratification is essential for the treaty to enter into force and which have not yet done so. The DPRK withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the beginning of the year and has since been reported to have said it would develop nuclear weapons and might carry out tests.

 

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