Hoping to spur a resumption of talks on the nuclear programme of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed recent statements by Pyongyang and the other countries involved in the issue.
A statement issued by a spokesman for the Secretary-General said Mr. Annan "feels that there is a growing momentum for the resumption of the six-party talks, thus advancing the Beijing process intended to resolve the nuclear and related issues in the Korean Peninsula."
In urging the parties to the talks to intensify their preparations, Mr. Annan "is encouraged by the recent statement by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as well as the response to it by the countries concerned," the statement said.
China, the DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States held a series of talks last year in Beijing on Pyongyang's nuclear programme. The DPRK withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the beginning of last year and has since been reported to have said it would develop nuclear weapons and might carry out tests.