Canada Expresses Concern at North Korean Nuclear Announcement

(No. 101 - April 15, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on North Korea's recent announcement concerning the Six-Party Talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the country's nuclear weapons program:

"Canada is deeply concerned at North Korea's announcement that it will abandon the Six-Party Talks, expel International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and restart its nuclear weapons program.

"It is extremely regrettable that North Korea should now cast aside the Six-Party Talks. North Korea and its neighbours would all benefit greatly from a permanent, peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula's long-standing security issues. The Six-Party Talks remain the best mechanism to that end.

"North Korea's current actions are alarming and run contrary to its stated desire to engage constructively with the community of nations. The Six-Party Talks can achieve success only if North Korea resumes adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under full IAEA safeguards.

"It is disconcerting that a regime that has difficulty feeding its own people should invest so much in these programs.

"Canada calls upon North Korea to immediately resume cooperation with IAEA inspectors and to continue existing disablement activities without interruption."

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