View Full Version : Bush Warns North Korea About Syria Nuclear Connection

09-22-2007, 09:36 AM
Bush Warns NK-Syria Nuclear Connection


By Yoon Won-sup
Staff Reporter

U.S. President George W. Bush warned North Korea against supplying nuclear know-how to Syria, indicating the issue may prevent the six-party talks from making any progress. However, Seoul officials said the issue will not affect the talks that much.

"We expect them to honor their commitment to giving up nuclear weapons programs, we expect them to stop their proliferation,'' Bush told reporters on Thursday.

In response, Song Min-soon, minister of foreign affairs and trade said Friday that the six-party talks has already addressed the issue as nuclear non-proliferation is a comprehensive concept that includes the disablement of Pyongyang's nuclear facilities and declaration of suspended weapons programs, the core agenda of the coming talks on Sept. 27 in Beijing.

The minister said that while paying attention to Bush's concerns Seoul was hopeful that North Korea was moving toward denuclearization as scheduled.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported Friday that Israel indicated to Bush that North Korean nuclear experts were in Syria last summer and the United States helped Israel bomb a nuclear site in Syria on Sept. 6.

The White House, however, refused to confirm the report.

"As much as I'd like to be able to let some air out of the balloon on this story, I don't know and I just can't comment,'' presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said, adding North Korean missile transfers were something that the United States obviously wouldn't want.

North Korea and Syria held high-level talks, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency though it didn't clarify what issues the two countries discussed.

North Korea and Syria denied previous reports of nuclear cooperation.