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US security official warns against add`l N.Korean nuke tests

US security official warns against add`l N.Korean nuke tests

Posted June. 14, 2011 05:17,   


“(If North Korea conducts additional nuclear tests,) I am sure that additional strong sanctions will be imposed on the North with the support of Russia and China.”

This is what Gary Samore, the National Security Council coordinator for arms control and non-proliferation, said in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo Monday.

Samore is visiting Seoul to attend a forum under the theme, “Our Nuclear Future,” hosted by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies that ends Wednesday.

On whether “strategic nuclear arms" could be deployed in South Korea if the security environment on the Korean Peninsula worsens in the event of the North’s additional launch of nuclear weapons, Samore only said, “Redeployment of strategic nuclear weapons is not necessary, and is not an issue for discussion at this point.”

“South Korea and the U.S. are preparing a joint response to North Korea’s growing missile and nuclear weapon threats,” he said, adding, “(Strategic nuclear weapons development) is an issue that the two allies should discuss.”

On if the six-way nuclear talks will resume, Seymour said, “We take note of the North’s recent declaration that it will return to the six-way talks without any conditions,” adding, “This is a shift in position from the past, when Pyongyang urged (the U.S.) to lift sanctions on the North first.”

Nevertheless, he added, “In order for the talks to resume, the North should instill South Korea and the U.S. with a sense of trust and faithfulness that it will not launch additional aggressions.”

On the North’s leak of secret contacts with the South for holding inter-Korean summits, he said, “I can hardly understand why (North Korea) disclosed such a matter,” but added, “We need to discern rhetoric for negotiations from actual acts of aggression.”

On U.S. provision of food aid to North Korea, Samore said, “Discussions are underway in the administration whether it is necessary to provide food aid to North Korea, and a conclusion will be reached within several weeks.”

“But discussions required for establishing a system for transparent distribution and surveillance of foods will take several months,” he added, indicating that time will be needed before Washington can send food assistance to Pyongyang.