France gives cautious welcome to NKorea nuclear deal

13th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 13, 2007 (AFP), France welcomed a North Korean agreement to close down key nuclear facilities as a "breakthrough" Tuesday but warned the deal still had to be implemented.

PARIS, Feb 13, 2007 (AFP)

France welcomed a North Korean agreement to close down key nuclear facilities as a "breakthrough" Tuesday but warned the deal still had to be implemented.

"Quite clearly there has been a breakthrough," foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei told reporters.

"This is an important first step in the negotiations, which France fully supports, over the North Korean nuclear question.

"Naturally this must be treated with a degree of caution," he warned however, pointing out that the deal still had to be "confirmed" when six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programme resume in Beijing on March 19.

France "hopes the negotiating process will yield concrete results, in order to achieve the full, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea," he said.

Mattei also voiced hope the advance on the North Korean question could lead to "positive emulation" concerning Iran's contested nuclear programme, "even if the two cases are quite different from one another."

North Korea agreed Tuesday to shut down key nuclear facilities within two months in exchange for badly needed fuel, part of a broad agreement aimed at ending the regime's nuclear programme.

In return, the United States would hold direct talks on diplomatic relations with North Korea and begin looking at removing it from the US list of terrorist nations.

The deal came after nearly a week of gruelling six-nation talks in Beijing aimed at convincing the secretive Stalinist state, which tested an atomic bomb for the first time in October, to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, North Korea

0 Comments To This Article