Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gates Warns N. Korea on Nuclear Transfers as Russia, Japan Talk

By Viola Gienger and Jae Hur May 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned North Korea against exporting technology from its nuclear weapons program as Russia and Japan called for a “serious” response to Kim Jong Il’s nuclear test. Gates held talks with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea yesterday to coordinate their response to North Korea’s May 25 nuclear test and subsequent missile firings, marking the first time the military chiefs of the three countries had met jointly. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso agreed during a telephone call yesterday that a “serious” response to North Korea’s actions is required, the Kremlin said in an e-mailed statement. “Both sides agreed on the need to react in the most serious way to these steps, which are a challenge to the international security system,” the statement said. North Korea fired six short-range missiles this past week in addition to detonating an atomic device. The U.S. and Japan are seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution that cuts North Korea’s international financial ties as well as China’s help in persuading to abandon its nuclear ambitions. “The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States and our allies,” Gates told delegates at an annual Asian security conference in Singapore yesterday. “We would hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences.” [Keep reading]
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