Korean, New Zealand leaders urge NK to drop rocket launch plan
Leaders of Korea and New Zealand urged North Korea on Sunday to scrap its plan to launch a long-range rocket, calling the move a serious threat to regional peace and stability, and a clear violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.
President Lee Myung-bak and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key issued the appeal after summit talks. Key is in Seoul to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, set for Monday and Tuesday, a biennial anti-nuclear terrorism conference of global leaders.
The summit takes place under the shadow of North Korea's plan to launch a long-range rocket next month to put what it claims is an observation satellite into orbit, a long-running pretext that the provocative regime has used to disguise banned missile tests.
"The leaders of the two countries expressed serious concerns that North Korea's long-range rocket launch plan is a clear violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution and a grave threat to regional peace and stability while urging North Korea to withdraw the launch plan and abide by the U.N. Security Council resolution," the presidential office said in a statement.
Lee and Key also agreed to work closely together to implement the envisioned "Seoul Communique" to be adopted at the nuclear conference, the office said. The communique is expected to include specific commitments from participating leaders to reduce fissile materials that can be used to build nuclear weapons.
The two leaders also celebrated Monday's 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries while agreeing to enhance mutual understanding of the peoples of the two countries through various cultural events and to accelerate all-round cooperation, the statement said. (Yonhap)