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G-8 Warns of Nuclear Proliferation in Iran, North Korea

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2003 – Leaders of the G-8 nations called on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and on Iran to open its nuclear program to International Atomic Energy Agency inspection.

President Bush and the leaders of Great Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Canada and Russia also agreed to a number of initiatives to fight terrorism.

State Department officials said the meeting held in Evian, France went well. All involved did their best to put the disagreements over Iraq behind them, a State Department official said.

The G-8 leaders issued a strong statement stressing the global challenge of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction "requires a multifaceted solution." They vowed to tackle the problem individually and collectively.

The G-8 leaders called on North Korea to "visibly, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle any nuclear weapons programs." In October 2002, North Korea declared it had violated and would continue to violate its promise not to proceed with its uranium-enrichment program. In January, North Korea has pulled out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. World and regional leaders have applied pressure on North Korea to honor its past agreements.

In a communiqu following the meeting, the G-8 leaders also said they "will not ignore the proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program." The leaders said Iran must comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The G-8 countries supported a comprehensive examination of the Iranian nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The G-8 countries agreed to establish a Counterterrorism Action Group to train and fund counterterrorism programs in countries "with the will but not the skill to fight terror," according to the communiqu. The group, pushed by the United States, will concentrate on denying funding for terrorists, help in customs and immigration controls, stopping illegal arms trafficking and will provide law enforcement funding, training and liaison.

The G-8 also adopted another U.S.-sponsored plan to reduce the proliferation of shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles. These missiles are a growing concern. Terrorists have already used them in attacks on aircraft in Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

The plan calls for the G-8 to adopt strict national controls over inventories and exports of the weapons and bans the transfer of the missiles to "non-state end-users." The G-8 will help countries that wish to dispose of excess stocks of the weapons.

The G-8 will also put more controls on radioactive sources to lessen the chance of terrorists exploding a "dirty bomb."

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