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Bush, Kim Discuss North Korean Nuclear Crisis


South Korean President Kim Dae-jung says North Korea's decision to restart its nuclear program is "unacceptable." The South Korean leader spoke on the telephone with President Bush who continued to call for a diplomatic solution.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says the two leaders agreed to work toward a peaceful resolution of the nuclear dispute without allowing what Mr. Fleischer called "business as usual with North Korea."

North Korea said Thursday that it was reactivating nuclear facilities closed as part of a 1994 deal with Washington. U.S. officials say the plants can be used to build atomic bombs. North Korean officials say they are for generating electricity.

Mr. Fleischer says president Kim called the decision "unacceptable" and said the "current circumstances" make the U.S. / South Korea alliance "more important than ever."

Pyongyang's move follows Monday's U.S. led interdiction of North Korean missiles bound for Yemen. That shipment was later released.

North Korea says it was an "unpardonable act of piracy" that has threatened North Korean sovereignty. Mr. Fleischer says U.S. officials had the right to search the ship in international waters as part of the fight against terrorism.

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