DPRK urged to quit atomic programs
Updated: 2006-10-07 08:52
UNITED NATIONS - With speculation mounting of a North Korean nuclear test as
early as this weekend, a unanimous U.N. Security Council urged the nation Friday
to abandon all atomic weapons as it promised last year and cancel plans to
detonate a device. Japan hinted North Korea could face sanctions or possible
Members of the Security Council of United
Nations vote during a meeting regarding North Korea at U.N. Headquarters
in New York Friday, Oct. 6, 2006. The Security Council urged North Korea
on Friday to cancel a planned nuclear test and return immediately to talks
on scrapping its nuclear weapons program, saying that exploding such a
device would threaten international peace and security.
A statement adopted by the council expresses "deep concern" over North
Korea's announcement that it planned a test - which would confirm strong
suspicions it is a nuclear power - and warns Pyongyang of unspecified
consequences if it carries through. The message also urges North Korea to return
to six-party talks on scrapping its nuclear weapons program.
With tensions rising, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il met hundreds of his top
military commanders and urged them to bolster the nation's defenses, as officers
cheered, "Fight at the cost of our lives!" the nation's official Korean Central
News Agency reported earlier Friday.
A North Korea expert in China, said only the removal of American economic
sanctions against Pyongyang could dissuade the country from carrying out a
"North Korea has already made a decision to carry out a test," said Li
Dunqiu, of China's State Council Development Research Center, a Cabinet-level
think tank. But "if the U.S. removes sanctions ... then tensions can be eased.
Otherwise launching a nuclear test is unavoidable for North Korea."
The United States imposed economic sanctions on North Korea last year to
punish it for alleged counterfeiting and money laundering. For the last 13
months, North Korea has boycotted six-nation talks aimed at persuading it to
abandon its nuclear ambitions.
North Korea said Tuesday it decided to act in the face of what it claimed was
"the U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war," but gave no date for the test.
Washington has repeatedly said it has no intention of invading North Korea.