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President Bush, trying to stiffen global resolve to confront North Korea, failed to win South Korea’s support today for a tough inspection program to intercept ships suspected of carrying supplies for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missiles.
President Bush, speaking Friday in Vietnam at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, urged other nations to take a tough line on enforcing U.N. sanctions against North Korea, adopted after the communist nation’s Oct. 9 test that may have only partially detonated.
“It’s important for the world to see that the Security Council resolutions which were passed are implemented” against North Korea, Bush said. “So part of my discussions will be how we fully implement those sanctions that the world has asked for.”
North Korea is also taking a hard line in advance of the six-party talks on its nuclear arms programs, which will include the United States, Russia, China, the two Koreas and Japan. The North walked away from the negotiating table last year after the U.S. campaigned to cut off the North’s access to foreign banks over alleged money laundering and counterfeiting.
Kim Myong Gil, deputy chief of North Korea’s mission to the United Nations in New York, told The Associated Press that progress at the negotiating table depends on whether the United States “has a sincere attitude and has willingness to improve its relations” with his country, a signal North Korea is unlikely to make opening concessions.