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Korea

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 19 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications of North Korea’s first nuclear test for long-term trade with and aid from South Korea. (93884)

Following the missile tests in July, the Republic of Korea (RoK) suspended humanitarian shipments to North Korea, although they did agree to an emergency flood relief package. They have not yet announced further measures, but we expect them to clarify policy after the UN Security Council Resolution is adopted. Our assessment is that any further contraction of food assistance would affect the North Korean people. The Government will continue to state our preference to other Governments, including the RoK, for non-humanitarian forms of leverage in reaction to North Korean provocation.

Inter-Korean trade, including the South Korean-run Kaesong Industrial Zone and the Mount Keumgang Tourist Resort, continues; although President Roh has indicated a review of South Korea’s engagement policy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place within NATO about the announcement by North Korea that it conducted a test of a nuclear explosive device on 9 October; and what decisions were taken. (93702)

On 9 October NATO discussed North Korea’s announcement of a nuclear test and issued the following statement:

“The Alliance condemns in the strongest terms possible the North Korean nuclear weapon test. This test poses an extremely serious threat to peace and security in the Pacific region and the world.

The Alliance calls upon North Korea to cease immediately the further development of any nuclear weapon technologies, to return immediately to the Six Party Talks without precondition, and to completely and verifiably eliminate its nuclear weapons and related programmes.

The Alliance joins all of the international community in calling on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to abide by its non-proliferation obligations and will continue to monitor developments with attention and deep concern”.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely effect of targeted sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on that country's food shortage. (93934)

The sanctions imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 1718 (2006) which was adopted unanimously on 14 October are aimed at bringing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) into compliance with the demands set out clearly in that resolution. They are targeted on specific areas such as DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programmes. They are not targeted at, nor do we expect any impact upon, the country’s food supplies.