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Reports of possible missile firing by DPR of Korea

Annan concerned at reports of possible missile firing by DPR of Korea

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today expressed concern over reports that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) might test-fire a long-range missile.

Answering a reporter’s question during a visit to Paris, Mr. Annan said he hoped the DPRK’s leader would listen to what world leaders are saying. “We are all worried. North Korea must be very careful not to create a more complicated situation on the peninsula,” he added.

Asked specifically if he was appealing to the country not to test fire the missiles, he replied: “We must be careful not to multiply this type of weapons, especially in such a sensitive region.”

The Secretary-General was in Paris to attend the inauguration, together with French President Jacques Chirac, of the Branly Museum, which celebrates the arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

He told the gathered dignitaries that, much like the UN, the new Museum “illustrates the universality of the human family.”

“By presenting and celebrating the beliefs, customs and knowledge of human cultures, this museum allows one to see and know humanity’s infinite spiritual heritage,” he said.

During his brief stay, Mr. Annan met with French leaders for talks on a wide range of global issues. With French Defence Minister Michelle Alliot-Marie he discussed issues related to peacekeeping in Africa, notably Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and Chad.

He then had a working lunch with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin during which they discussed the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear issue, Sudan, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and UN reform.

Mr. Annan later returned to Geneva, where yesterday he had attended inauguration of the UN Human Rights Council.

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