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N.K.'s nuclear pursuit denounced at U.N. disarmament session

All Headlines 04:12 April 08, 2016

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's nuclear pursuit was denounced as a key challenge to the global nonproliferation regime as the U.N. Disarmament Commission held a general debate this week, the U.N. said in a statement.

Spain's delegate, Francisco Javier Garcia-Larrache, told the session that the North's persistence in challenging the global non-proliferation regime is "of the deepest concern" as he called for rigorous implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

"Effectively implementing the current sanctions regime should lead that country back to the negotiating table and push it to drop its current nuclear program," the U.N. said in a press statement summerizing the two-day session at the U.N. headquarters on Tuesday and Wednesday.

South Korea's delegate, Deputy U.N. Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee, also urged the North to give up its nuclear program, recalling the communist nation's fourth nuclear test in January and its long-range rocket launch in February.

"He said that county had continued to pose grave challenges to international peace and security and to the NPT regime. To that end, he strongly urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to refrain from further provocations and abandon all its nuclear and ballistic missile programs," the statement said.

The North, which withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in early 2003, has long pursued nuclear weapons development, conducting four nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, 2013 and in January this year.

South Korean officials say the North could conduct yet another nuclear test at any time.

The North has also conducted a series of long-range missile or rocket launches since 1998. In each of its two latest launches in late 2012 and in February this year, the North succeeded in putting a satellite into orbit.

Analysts have warned that it is only a matter of time until the North develops nuclear-tipped missiles. Some experts have recently warned that the communist nation's nuclear arsenal could expand to as many as 100 bombs by 2020.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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