03 August 2009

Bush Urges Unified Action Against North Korea

By VOA News

Former U.S. President George W. Bush has urged the five nations involved in nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea to send a clear message to Pyongyang to end its nuclear weapons program.

Mr. Bush spoke at an economic forum on the South Korean island of Jeju Saturday. He said the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia must make it clear that North Korea will face consequences if it continues to defy United Nations resolutions.

The former U.S. president also stressed the importance of transparency and verification in the nuclear disarmament process.

The last round of six-party disarmament talks in China in December ended with an impasse over how the North's denuclearization would be verified. Since then, Pyongyang has conducted a nuclear test and a series of missile launches. Its provocative actions against South Korea have raised international concern about the region's stability.

The United Nations imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea in June.

The United States is taking steps to ensure the sanctions are implemented. It has frozen the assets of a number of business and financial institution dealing with North Korea. A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said Friday the U.S. is also considering returning the North to its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Washington has offered the North a comprehensive package of incentives if it takes serious and irreversible steps to end its nuclear program.

Mr. Bush is in South Korea for a series of talks on the global economy. He is expected to promote measures against trade protectionism and the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement. The agreement was signed in 2007 while he was in office, but has yet to be approved by lawmakers in both countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.
August 1st, 2009