North Korea’s plutonium plans violate UN resolution, says US

June 17th, 2009 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Vienna, June 17 (DPA) North Korea’s plans to turn its plutonium stock into atomic bomb material would violate the latest UN Security Council resolution, the US warned Wednesday.
Speaking at the first meeting of the IAEA’s governing board after North Korea’s second nuclear test in May, US representative Geoffrey Pyatt also called on the Stalinist state to return to the negotiating table.

Other countries including the US and China likewise urged North Korea to continue multilateral talks.

In reaction to the UN resolution and sanctions passed last Friday, Pyongyang has announced that it would not only weaponize its plutonium, but would also begin work on uranium enrichment.

Both actions would violate the resolution that called on North Korea to abandon all nuclear programmes, Pyatt said.

“In the interest of of international peace and security, and the global non-proliferation regime, we hope that North Korea will choose the path of diplomacy rather than confrontation,” he said.

The Czech Republic, speaking on the EU’s (European Union) behalf, and China called on the secluded East Asian country to return to negotiations, according to a participant in the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) meeting.

North Korea has pulled out of the six-nation negotiations aimed at persuading the isolated country to abandon its nuclear programme, in return for aid and improved diplomatic and economic relations. The other countries include China, Japan and Russia in addition to South Korea and the US.

In April, the reclusive state kicked out IAEA inspectors. They were permanently stationed in the Yongbyon nuclear centre to make sure that the installations there remained shuttered, as agreed under by the six countries.

Japan’s representative in Vienna said the nuclear agency had an important role to play in North Korea, echoing remarks by several other members of the 35-country IAEA board.

US President Barack Obama and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak Tuesday called for the robust enforcement of the latest UN sanctions, including the interception of North Korean vessels suspected of carrying nuclear or missile-related technology.

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