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N.Korea says in last stage of enriching uranium

N Korea (Kim Jong Il)

N.Korea says in last stage of enriching uranium

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SEOUL  – North Korea said on Friday it was closer to a second way of making nuclear weapons, a move analysts saw as a new tactic to put pressure on the international community after a month of conciliatory gestures.

The chief U.S. envoy for the North, Stephen Bosworth, said the enrichment claim was “of concern”, while Russia described the announcement as “very alarming”.

Bosworth was in Beijing on a trip to Asia to discuss ways to bring Pyongyang back to long-stalled negotiations on giving up its nuclear ambitions.

“Experimental uranium enrichment has successfully been conducted to enter into completion phase,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted its United Nations delegation as saying in a letter to the head of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC).

The United States has long suspected the North of having a secret programme to enrich uranium for weapons. Experts have said it has not developed anything near a full-scale uranium programme while it has enough plutonium for six to eight bombs.

“I think for all of us, it reconfirms the necessity to maintain a coordinated position on the need for complete, verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” Bosworth said, after meetings with Chinese officials.

The North said its latest steps were in response to tighter sanctions.

“These reports cannot but provoke concern,” Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry official as saying

“A very alarming precedent is being created by such an open and demonstrative disdain for resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.”

At the United Nations, the mission of the United States, which currently holds the Security Council presidency, said it had received the North Korean letter and circulated it to the other 14 members of the council.

U.N. sanctions have hurt the impoverished North’s arms trade, one of its few significant exports, and analysts said it may be angered its latest attempts at conciliation with the outside world have been largely rebuffed.

The United States has refused to ease up on the sanctions, and sent its point man for their enforcement to Asia last month to build support.

“Now they (North Korea) are taking the road that they know will drive a response out of all countries — the military way — and leaving them to decide what to do,” said Cho Myung-chul, an expert on the North at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.

North Korea added that reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods was at its final phase and extracted plutonium was being weaponised.

“We are prepared for both dialogue and sanctions. If some permanent members of the UNSC wish to put sanctions first before dialogue, we would respond with bolstering our nuclear deterrence first before we meet them in a dialogue.”

In another move that serves as a reminder of the tension on the divided peninsula, a North Korean patrol vessel crossed briefly into the South’s waters on Friday but returned without incident, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

“They are taking a mixed strategy, which I would call the sweet and sour approach. This keeps their adversaries guessing and it makes it more difficult to formulate policy,” said Peter Beck, research fellow at Stanford University and a specialist on Korean affairs.

Market players, used to North Korea blowing hot and cold, said the latest rumblings had little impact on early trading.

Pyongyang laid the blame squarely on the U.N. Security Council for imposing sanctions over its rocket launch in April and ignoring one by South Korea late last month.

“Had the UNSC, from the very beginning, not made an issue of the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) peaceful satellite launch in the same way as it kept silent over the satellite launch conducted by South Korea on August 25, 2009, it would not have compelled the DPRK to take strong counteraction such as its 2nd nuclear test.

Pyongyang said its launch was to put a communications satellite into space. Others said it was to test a ballistic missile with the potential to hit U.S. territory.

The North has already tested two plutonium-based nuclear devices, the one in May triggering tightened international sanctions.

It reiterated on Friday its opposition to six-country talks over its nuclear weapons programme, talks it walked away from last December. The talks among the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the United States offered Pyongyang massive aid and an end to isolation if it gives up efforts to build an atomic arsenal.

North Korea in the past month released two U.S. journalists, a South Korean worker and fishermen it had held in separate incidents. It ended border restrictions it placed on the South and sought to resume frozen business projects with its neighbour.

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U.S.-China talks planned on North Korea arms deals


U.S. undersecretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence Stuart Levey (L) looks at U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg (R) during a meeting with South Korea’s first vice foreign minister Kwon Jong-rak (not in picture) in Seoul June 3, 2009.

U.S.-China talks planned on North Korea arms deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Treasury official who tracks illicit international financing will have talks in China this week on ways to crack down on companies involved in North Korea’s purchases of equipment for its nuclear arms program.

Stuart Levey, undersecretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, will hold meetings from Wednesday to Friday with officials and private sector executives in mainland China and Hong Kong, Treasury said on Monday.

The meetings will focus on protecting “the integrity of the international financial system by preventing North Korea from misusing that system to buy and sell dangerous technology in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and to engage in other illicit conduct,” Treasury said.

The United States and China are cooperating in efforts by world and regional powers to rein in North Korea’s program to make nuclear weapons and its trade in missiles and other weapons.

The reclusive communist country, which tested its second nuclear explosive device in May, has unsettled security in the region with a series of missile firings in recent weeks.

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Major concessions to avoid sanctions against Iran, most of the uranium enrichment to send abroad


Iran’s chief negotiator to answer a reporter’s question

Major concessions to avoid sanctions against Iran, most of the uranium enrichment to send abroad

BEIJING, October 3 power between Iran and the six countries made a historic breakthrough in nuclear talks: Iran agreed to allow international inspectors to check the latest disclosure of the uranium enrichment plant and hand over part of the uranium enrichment to other countries, and then brought back home for civilian use. Hong Kong, “Wen Wei Po,” the report said Iran made major concessions this time, eliminating the international community to strengthen the threat of sanctions.

United Nations Security Council five permanent members along with representatives of Germany, 1 in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, a 18th century villa, held talks with Iranian representatives. That night, the EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana announced that Iran will give inspectors a few weeks to check the uranium-enrichment plant is located in Qom. In addition, Iran agreed in principle to 3 / 4 low-enriched uranium shipped to Russia and France for the fuel rods extracted, and then brought back to a research reactor in Tehran, refining isotopes for medical purposes.

Low enriched uranium can be refined into weapons-grade uranium to manufacture nuclear bombs. Iran currently has 1,500 kg low-enriched uranium, while the 2.4 thousand kilograms can produce a nuclear weapon.

During the meeting, the U.S. diplomat William Burns and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator met Jared Lane had a separate, breaking the United States and Iran broke off high-level contacts in nearly 30 years the situation. Before the end of the meeting, participants agreed to meet again this month. The United States President Barack Obama described the Geneva talks as “good start”, but stressed that Iran must take “substantial measures” to fulfill obligations under international law.

Was also reported that International Atomic Energy Agency Information Services Department, 2, confirmed that the Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei will visit Iran this weekend, on the Iranian nuclear issue to engage in dialogue with the Iranian side.

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