Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

North Korea - Call for moratorium on ballistic missile trials

Agence Europe - 30 January 2003

BRUSSELS - On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution by six political groups (EPP/ED, PES, ELDR, Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL and UEN) condemning North Korea's decision to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and calling on Pyongyang to go back on its decision, although it does recognise that there are humanitarian difficulties and energy supply problems in the country.

The Parliament calls on North Korea to: - put an end to its uranium enrichment programme intended for the production of nuclear weapons; - maintain the moratorium on ballistic missile testing; - and authorise inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to return to its territory and to replace surveillance cameras in the Yongbyong nuclear power plant. Furthermore, the EP condemns the decision taken by Pakistan to provide North Korea with the technology needed for using uranium. In order to allow the Korean government to face up to its humanitarian and energy supply problems, the Parliament supports all projects aimed at using the country's coal resources and at developing renewable energies, and calls on the Commission to examine feasibility. In this context, it welcomes the decision of the EU to continue providing humanitarian aid, while insisting that delivery of such aid should be monitored.

Council President Tassos Giannitsis expressed great concern about the situation while insisting on a peaceful solution. In his view, the mission, that the Council plans to send to North Korea, "must be at a very high level" (see EUROPE of 28 January, p.5). Development Commissioner Poul Nielson considers for his part that "the question of human rights must be tackled" during this mission.

Speaking on behalf of the EPP/ED, British Charles Tannock noted that "no-one is dupe" concerning the Korean government's determination to reactivate its nuclear programme "for military purposes". He warned Pakistan, "our so-called ally, it should reflect upon the consequences of its action". Belgian national Veronique De Keyser considers, on behalf of the PES, that the "North Korea's attitude is more worrying than that of Iraq". Jas Gawronski (EPP/ ED, Italy) felt two mistakes should be avoided, namely: "falling into the Pyongyang trap of dividing the United States and South Korea" and "making dictators believe it is enough to violate agreements to receive assistance".
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