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G8 expresses concerns over North Korea, Iran

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G8 expresses concerns over North Korea, Iran
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Washington: The leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) major industrialised nations have expressed "deep" and "grave" concern over the actions of North Korea and Iran, and urged both countries to come out clean on all outstanding issues related to their controversial nuclear programmes.

"We continue to have deep concerns about provocative actions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) that threaten regional stability," Xinhua quoted the group as saying in a joint statement after the G8 summit concluded at Camp David in America's Maryland state Saturday.

The group urged Pyongyang to comply with its international obligations and abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in a "complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner".

Calling on all UN member states to join the G8 in fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the group affirmed its will to call for UN action, in response to additional actions by North Korea, including ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests.

North Korea announced in March its plan to launch an "earth observation" satellite, using a long-range rocket, to mark the 100th birthday of late leader Kim Il-Sung. But the launch failed.

The US later announced it would not go forward with the food aid deal with North Korea, accusing Pyongyang of using the satellite launch as a cover for its long-range ballistic missile test.

The G8 also said it remains united in its "grave concern" over Iran's disputed nuclear programme, and urged Tehran to address such concern without delay.

"We remain united in our grave concern over Iran's nuclear programme. We call on Iran to comply with all of its obligations under relevant UNSC resolutions and requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors," the G8 leaders said in a declaration.

The leaders urged Iran "to continuously comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including its safeguards obligations".

They demanded Iran "address without delay" all outstanding issues related to its nuclear programme, such as questions concerning possible military dimensions.

The group, however, expressed the desire for "a peaceful and negotiated solution to concerns over Iran's nuclear programme".

IANS

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