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N. Korea's atomic plans to be discussed on sidelines of Nuclear safety summit in Seoul

Seoul, Mon, 26 Mar 2012 ANI

Seoul, Mar 26 (ANI): US President Barack Obama and dozens of other world leaders will begin a summit Monday on curbing the threat of nuclear terrorism, but North Korea's atomic plans will be in focus on the sidelines.

Obama announced on the eve of the Seoul event, which will gather leaders or top officials from 53 nations, that Ukraine had fulfilled a pledge made two years ago to remove all highly enriched uranium from its territory.

"I believe it is a preview of the kind of progress we are going to see over the next two days in confronting one of the most urgent challenges to global security-the security of the world's nuclear weapons and preventing nuclear terrorism," The News quoted Obama, as saying.

Although North Korea's nuclear programme is not officially on the agenda in Seoul, it is expected to be intensely discussed on the sidelines as world leaders take advantage of the opportunity of face-to-face meetings.

Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak presented a united front against North Korea during a press conference on Sunday, warning it again against the rocket launch and further "provocative" actions.

"North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or by provocations," he said.

Lee added: "President Obama and I have agreed to respond sternly to any provocations and threats by the North and to continually enhance the firm South Korea-US defence readiness."

Obama also had a piece of advise for China, North Korea's chief international ally, which has declined to speak out strongly against Pyongyang in relation to the planned rocket launch.

"My suggestion to China is that how they communicate their concerns to North Korea should probably reflect the fact that the approach they have taken over the last several decades has not led to a fundamental shift in North Korea's behaviour," Obama added. (ANI)

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