IAEA urges "zero-tolerance" message on Pyongyang's nuke programme
NewsChannelAsia, 28 April 2003
The United Nations' chief nuclear monitor Mohamed ElBaradei has urged the international community to send North Korea a "zero-tolerance" message on nuclear weapons.
In a televised interview with CNN, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency described the situation in North Korea as very worrying and should be brought under control as soon as possible.
"The situation in North Korea is a very worrying situation. Here is a country who has the capability, who probably has the nuclear material to make a weapon, and we need to make sure that that situation comes under control as soon as we can.
"If we are addressing the issue of weapons of mass destruction, we need to send a uniform, consistent mesage that there is zero-tolerance to any country that is developing weapons of mass destruction, North Korea included," he said.
A South Korean team is now in Pyongyang to drive home the point that it is unacceptable for North Korea to have nuclear weapons.
The head of South Korea's delegation said the North's declared possession of nuclear weapons is a security threat.
He said it broke a 1991 nuclear-free declaration seen as a cornerstone of ties between the neighbours.