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North Korea And Proliferation

Speaking in Singapore, President George W. Bush commented on the possible spread of weapons of mass destruction by North Korea:

"America's position is clear: The transfer of nuclear weapons or materiel by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences of such action. For the sake of peace, it is vital that the nations of this region send a message to North Korea that the proliferation of nuclear technology to hostile regimes or terrorist networks will not be tolerated."

After North Korea's October nuclear weapon test, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution Seventeen-Eighteen. This Chapter Seven resolution imposes sanctions on North Korea. It requires all member states to prevent trade and financial activities associated with North Korea's armament industries. That includes its nuclear and other weapons-of-mass-destruction programs, and missile-related programs. The resolution also requires all member states to prevent the transfer of luxury goods to North Korea.

North Korea's government recently announced its intention to return to the six-party talks with South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and the United States. President Bush said North Korea's decision to return to the negotiating table was an "encouraging step":

"The United States wants these talks to be successful, and we will do our part. If North Korea chooses a peaceful path, America and our partners in the six-party talks are prepared to provide security assurances, economic assistance, and other benefits to the North Korean people."

Ultimately, said President George W. Bush, the North Korean government must "show it is serious by taking concrete steps to implement its agreement to give up its nuclear weapons and weapons programs."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.