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Secretary-General welcomes deal on non-nuclear Korean peninsula

Secretary-General welcomes deal on non-nuclear Korean peninsula

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly welcomed the nuclear agreement reached at six-party talks in Beijing, describing it as the first step towards a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula and urging all sides to “sustain the current positive momentum” and ensure the accord is implemented.

“The Secretary-General is encouraged that this constructive effort by the international community can eventually result in strengthening the global non-proliferation regime, as well as in contributing to durable peace, security and prosperity in the region,” a spokesperson for Mr. Ban said, referring to the deal aimed at implementing the 2005 Joint Statement on denuclearizing the peninsula.

“This agreement represents the first practical stage towards a non-nuclear Peninsula,” Marie Okabe added in a statement. “The Secretary-General also welcomes the commitment by all participants to move expeditiously towards the next stage of this process.”

Toward that end, the planned establishment of five working groups “should allow the participants to address the wide ranges of issues relating to the region in a comprehensive way.”

The statement urged the participants to “make every effort to sustain the current positive momentum and ensure that this accord is implemented as agreed.”

The six-party talks involve the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States and have been going on sporadically in Beijing for several years, but have so far failed to end nuclear weapons on the peninsula. The DPRK carried out its first proclaimed nuclear test in October, after which the Security Council imposed sanctions on the country.