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North Korea, Iran Warned by G-8 About Nuclear Programs - 2003-06-02

Leaders of the world's major industrialized democracies and Russia have warned Iran and North Korea about their nuclear programs, saying the two countries should comply with international safeguards. The warning came in a joint statement, which also labeled the spread of weapons and terrorism as the preeminent threats to global security.

The G-8 bluntly told North Korea that it must "visibly, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle any nuclear weapons program it may have." And, it told the North Koreans that their failure to abide by International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards is a clear breach of their country's international obligations.

On Iran, the eight leaders said they will not ignore what they called the proliferation implications of Teheran's advanced nuclear program. They urged Iran to fully comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Iran has been under growing pressure to allow international weapons inspectors to visit a Russian-built plant at Bushehr that is scheduled to come on line this year. There is increasing concern among western officials that the plant may be used to produce nuclear weapons material.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told reporters Monday that President Bush had assured his G-8 colleagues that the United States has no intention of undertaking military action against Iran.