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US Launches Effort to Pressure N. Korea to Allow Return of Nuclear Inspectors - 2003-06-19


The United States is launching a new effort at the United Nations to pressure North Korea to comply with international obligations and allow the return of U.N. nuclear inspectors. U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte says the United States is again exploring the possibility of a statement on North Korea with other Security Council delegations.

In April, China and Russia blocked a possible Security Council statement condemning Pyongyang for its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Mr. Negroponte says the Security Council statement should call on North Korea to place its nuclear facilities under international safeguards.

"Fundamentally, [the United States wants] a statement to the effect that North Korea is out of compliance with its international obligations with respect to non-proliferation and a calling on North Korea to rejoin the international community in this area," says Mr. Negroponte.

Mr. Negroponte says the statement should also urge Pyongyang to cooperate with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.

The statement would not be legally binding but it would become part of the Security Council's official record. Pyongyang has warned that it would view punitive measures by the Security Council as a declaration of war.