North Korean leader Kim Jong Il today pledged his nation's support for ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons, Reuters reported (see GSN, Jan. 22).
|Pyongyang recently said it would give up its nuclear weapons only after achieving diplomatic relations with the United States and verifying that there were no U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea.|
Kim offered the statement during a meeting in Pyongyang with Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party. It was the regime chief's first such meeting since he reportedly suffered a stroke in August.
"The North Korean side will commit itself to the denuclearization of the North Korean Peninsula, and hopes to co-exist peacefully with other involved parties," Kim said, according to the Xinhua News Agency. "North Korea is not willing to see tensions emerge in the peninsula, and is willing to strengthen consultation and cooperation with China to push forward the six-party talks."
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