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Peters welcomes Nth Korean declaration

Peters welcomes Nth Korean declaration

North Korea has strongly signaled its commitment to denuclearization by submitting a declaration of its nuclear programmes to the Chinese government, says Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.

"This is a significant event for the region as it will help diminish, though not yet totally remove, the North Korean nuclear threat," Mr Peters said.

"New Zealand congratulates the nations driving the Six-Party Talks aimed at resolving security concerns resulting from North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

"The international community will now monitor whether North Korea's intent to address its nuclear disablement obligations is reflected in the completeness and accuracy of its declaration.

"Positive verification will provide much-needed confidence for engaging with Pyongyang, which in turn will help unlock international assistance that will allow North Korea to rebuild."

In welcoming this latest step and the related positive announcement by the United States, Mr Peters said North Korea needed to respond positively to Japan's concerns over the abduction of its citizens.

"We also expect North Korea to follow through on its intention to destroy the cooling tower of the Yongbyon nuclear facility later today.

"This act, while symbolic, is another step in the process of removing North Korea's nuclear capability, and New Zealand encourages the Six-Party states to continue towards completing this important aim.

"It is hoped that North Korea will follow up these confidence-building measures by joining with the other members of the Six Party talks - China, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia - to rapidly put in place measures leading to a stable, nuclear free Korean Peninsula," Mr Peters said.


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