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NPT Urges N. Korea to Dispose of Nuclear Program

Posted May. 09, 2003 21:46,   


The Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference having ended events in Geneva, Switzerland on May 9 (local time) adopted a factual summary which urges North Korea to eliminate its nuclear weapons program.

The chair`s summary outlines factual details based on the preparatory chair`s discussions. It does not carry legal binding power in accordance with international law; however, it is significant in that it is the first official document from the organization reflecting the international community`s concern for the issue.

“NPT member countries have expressed their concern over North Korea`s nuclear program, which obstructs the process of peace and security on the Korean peninsula and in the region, and takes North Korea`s decision to withdraw from the NPT as a serious challenge to all nations,” said the chairman, Hungary`s ambassador to the United Nations, in the draft of the factual summary which was distributed in the evening of May 8 prior to the meeting.

The chairman urges North Korea to dispose of its nuclear program completely, verifiably and irreversibly, carry out all safety measures and pursue de-nuclearization on the peninsula, according to the NPT draft.

“A multilateral approach should be maintained on the North Korean nuclear issue with participation from related countries,” the summary stated, putting emphasis on a peaceful resolution through diplomatic means. The summary also indirectly reflected China`s demands that “some nations have expressed concern that the threat from North Korea be resolved.”

The preparatory committee is scheduled to hold a plenary meeting to draft a comprehensive report containing the chair`s summary as a supplementary document to wrap up the two week-long conference. Western European and Middle Eastern countries are, however, opposed with regards to Iran`s nuclear development program in the summary, showing controversy in another region related to nuclear proliferation.

The NPT was established in 1970 and holds three preparatory conferences between the scheduled NPT Review Conferences held every 5 years.

Jei-Gyoon Park phark@donga.com