Iran urges nuclear-free Korean Peninsula

In-depth Report: ,

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the Korean Peninsula to be free of nuclear weapons, the state news agency IRNA reported today

“The Islamic Republic of Iran wants nuclear weapons disarmament all over the world, including the Korean peninsula,” he was quoted as saying in a meeting yesterday with visiting North Korean parliamentary Speaker Choe Thae-Bok.

Ahmadinejad, whose own country is at loggerheads with the international community over its nuclear programme, said that he believed talks could resolve the crisis triggered by Pyongyang’s atomic bomb test in October.

“Different issues in the world including the problems of both Koreas can be solved through talks,” he said.

North Korea’s nuclear programme took centre stage at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, where member states expressed “strong concern” today at the nuclear test and urged Pyongyang to resume disarmament talks.

However Russia, a staunch supporter of both Iran and North Korea, warned the world community against pushing them “into a corner.”

“I think the world community must go very carefully — firmly but carefully — on resolving the problem of the Korean peninsula and resolving the Iranian nuclear problem,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Vietnam.

The United States and others western nations believe Iran’s uranium enrichment program is ultimately aimed at producing fissile material for nuclear weapons.

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