Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Russian Military Chief Says North Korea Must Be Nuclear-Free

Russia's military chief, General Yuri Baluyevsky, has reiterated international calls that North Korea must remain free of nuclear weapons. Mr. Baluyevsky spoke Monday during a meeting in Moscow with his Japanese counterpart, visiting Military Chief General Hajime Massaki. He said it is the international community's duty to prevent any nuclear tests on the Korean peninsula. On Sunday, North Korea confirmed a meeting with U.S. officials held earlier this month. The statement came days after U.S. officials announced they held a rare meeting with North Korean authorities at United Nations headquarters in New York, to urge Pyongyang to return to talks on ending its nuclear weapons program. South Korea, China, Russia and Japan have also been calling on North Korea to re-join the six-nation talks.
North Korea was warned by a Chinese official not to pursue its nuclear program, a spokesman for South Korea's main opposition party said Monday. "Wang Jiarui said that Beijing's foreign policy toward the Korean Peninsula remains unchanged, and this entails a nuclear-free, stable region," Grand National Party (GNP) spokeswoman Chun Yu-ok told reporters. Wang is head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.