by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) June 5, 2012
The United States and the European Union urged North Korea on Tuesday to resume nuclear talks with the international community, stalled since April when Pyongyang launched a missile that flopped.
Both powers also stressed that the hermetic Stalinist state should prove through actions and not words that it had eschewed nuclear arms.
An EU statement said it should "abandon all its existing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
"We strongly encourage a resumption of the dialogue, icluding on the modalities that would allow the re-engagement" of the UN atomic agency IAEA, it said.
North Korea had expelled the agency in 2009 following condemnation from the UN Security Council and said it was ceasing all cooperation with the body.
But in March, North Korea invited the IAEA to send inspectors to help implement a deal with the United States, under which it would freeze some nuclear and missile activities in exchange for food aid.
The deal was however struck before a much-vaunted missile launch by Pyongyang on April 13, which prompted Washington to suspend the deal, even though the launch failed miserably.
Observers have since warned that Pyongyang could conduct a third nuclear test.
Washington, for its part, said: "Words alone will not suffice. What we need to see from North Korea is positive and concrete action."
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Monday that the agency had contacts with North Korea but will not be sending a team there anytime soon.
"Through recent contacts with the DPRK (North Korea), it has become clear that there is no immediate prospect of an agency mission taking place," Amano told the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors at the start of a week-long meeting in Vienna.
The North has been developing nuclear weapons for decades. Its official position has been that it needs them for self-defence against a US nuclear threat, but that it is willing in principle to scrap the atomic weaponry.
Under a September 2005 deal reached during six-nation negotiations, Pyongyang agreed to dismantle its nuclear programme in return for economic and diplomatic benefits and security guarantees.
But six-party talks on implementing the deal have been stalled since December 2008. The North has staged two nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009.
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'No immediate prospect' of IAEA mission to NKorea: Amano
Vienna (AFP) June 4, 2012
The UN atomic watchdog has had contacts with North Korea but will not be sending a team there anytime soon, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Monday. "Through recent contacts with the DPRK (North Korea), it has become clear that there is no immediate prospect of an agency mission taking place," Amano told the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors at the start of a week-long meet ... read more
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