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North Korea

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further discussion between the UK and other countries regarding the possible interdiction of ships and planes from North Korea is planned to take place in Canberra in July; and what proposals the UK intends to bring to this meeting. [123678]

The discussions, which were held in Brisbane on 9 and 10 July, concentrated on how best to take forward the Proliferation and Security Initiative and, in particular, on defining actions necessary for effective interdiction at sea and the modalities for sharing relevant information. The UK did not table any specific proposals.A Chairman's Statement was issued following the meeting. This can be found on the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade internet website at www.dfat.gov.au/globalissues.The group plans to meet again in France at the beginning of September.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received regarding North Korean nuclear weapons programmes; and if he will make a statement on Government policy on nuclear weapons programmes in North Korea. [126579]

We have been in close contact with allies about North Korea's nuclear programme. The UK will continue to work closely with our allies and partners to find a satisfactory solution to this issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the US Administration concerning North Korea's nuclear weapons programme. [126943]

We remain seriously concerned about recent statements and actions by North Korea. We are maintaining close contact with the United States as well as with other allies and partners to work towards a satisfactory resolution of the issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received, and what latest assessment he has made of, North Korea's nuclear weapons programme; and if he will make a statement. [126944]

We are maintaining close contact with allies and partners with a view to finding a satisfactory resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue. We remain seriously concerned about recent statements and actions by the North Korean Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received concerning the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods in North Korea. [126945]

We and our allies are seriously concerned about the reports of North Korean reprocessing activities. We are maintaining close contact with our allies and partners to seek a satisfactory resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) China and (b) South Korea concerning nuclear weapons programmes in North Korea. [126946]

We remain in close contact with the governments of China, South Korea and other countries on North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister visited Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing from 18 to 22 July, and held detailed talks on North Korea with his counterparts. North Korea must comply with its international obligations, and dismantle its nuclear weapons programmes in a visible, verifiable and irreversible way.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received on the potential proliferation of nuclear weapons to terrorist organisations from North Korea. [126947]

We and our allies remain seriously concerned about the possible proliferation of nuclear weapons from a number of countries, including North Korea. A new multi-national initiative, the Proliferation and Security Initiative, has recently been launched to look at means by which we can counter this threat.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the North Korean Government concerning nuclear weapons programmes in North Korea. [126948]

The principal recent discussions on this issue have been between North Korea, the United States and China. The UK has not been directly involved in any discussion of the issue in recent months.