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South Korean President Visits U.S.

On his first visit to the United States, South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun calls on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. This amid new developments in the tense situation regarding Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities. Amy Katz has more.

Speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington Tuesday, Mr. Roh said North Korea has no choice but to give up its nuclear weapons program. He said his government will try to resolve the crisis peacefully.

“North Korea must verifiably and very clearly give up is nuclear program. And to become a responsible member of the international community it must do so as soon as possible.”

Mr. Roh also said coordination between South Korea and the U.S. will serve as a stepping-stone to resolving the situation.

The South Korean leader met with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York Monday. He is scheduled to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush on the North Korea situation at the White House Wednesday.

Meanwhile, North Korea said Tuesday a 1992 agreement with South Korea, to keep the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear arms, is a “dead document.” Pyongyang said it was nullifying the pact because of what it called, “hostile U.S. policy toward the North.” North Korea has also abandoned the Global Non-proliferation Treaty – as well as a 1994 pledge to the United States that it would not build nuclear weapons.

In a related development, the U.S. said North Korea had targeted two U.S. aircraft with lasers in March. No one was injured in that incident.