North Korea

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

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Photo of Menzies Campbell Menzies Campbell Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the nuclear weapons capability of North Korea; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

holding answer 23 February 2005

The Government have, for some time, had serious concerns about the nuclear programme and nuclear weapons ambitions of the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). We take every opportunity to raise these concerns in our dealings with the DPRK Government.

The Government assesses that the DPRK extracted sufficient plutonium in the early 1990s for up to two nuclear warheads and that it has the technical capability to weaponise this material. Since then, the DPRK claims to have extracted enough plutonium from its stock of fuel rods to manufacture several additional nuclear warheads. We also believe the DPRK is pursuing efforts towards production of highly enriched uranium.

We urge the government of the DPRK to resume its engagement in the six-party talks, which aim to address and resolve the concerns of the international community about DPRK's nuclear programmes.

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