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No Signs of North Korea`s Provocation: No Intention of Attacking

No Signs of North Korea`s Provocation: No Intention of Attacking

Posted December. 17, 2002 22:37,   


US Secretary of State Colin Powel said yesterday that the tension over the North Korean nuclear weapons program was not on the verge of bursting into a war.

Powel`s statement came in a joint news conference held after a meeting with Japanese senior officials in Washington, D.C.

Powel said, "The United States has no intention of invading North Korea, and I don`t see any signs of action indicating a war on North Korea is imminent." But he brushed off the demand of North Korea for a new agreement with the United States, under which the US is supposed not to invade it in the future. Then, he stressed, "Now it`s time for North Korea to demonstrate to the world that it would not take any unreasonable actions with the Yongbyun nuclear facilities. Only then, we could move on."

In a joint statement, the United States and Japan demanded that North Korea should immediately abandon its nuclear program in a provable way, and abide by all the international agreements. They warned that, if North Korea attempted to use weapons of mass destruction like nuclear or biochemical weapons, it would face serious consequences.

This is the first minister-level security talks between Japan and the United States during the Bush administration.

In the meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor Rice said, in a meeting with the Japanese foreign minister, "If North Korea wants to resume talks with us, it should first discard its nuclear weapons program. Now the ball is tossed over to North," reported Kyoto on Monday.

Ki-Heung Han eligius@donga.com