US President and Japanese Prime Minister to Demand Cessation of North Korean Nuclear Programme

The leaders of the United States and Japan intend to make a joint statement, in which they will demand that North Korea should give up its nuclear programme. As became known in Tokyo on Thursday, it is expected that this statement will be published during the meeting between George W. Bush and the head of the Japanese government Junichiro Koizumi on May 23rd.

According to some information, the American-Japanese summit will take place in Camp David, the country residence of the American leader near Washington. At the same time, according to the Kyodo News Agency, Bush has invited Koizumi to his own ranch in Texas to emphasise the closeness of the relations between the allies.

No official information on this score has been released in Tokyo so far.

It is expected that the leaders of the two countries will call upon the DPRK to stop first of all the processing of the fuel rods from its old experimental reactor in Yongbyon. Washington and Tokyo apprehend that the enriched radioactive materials thus obtained will be used by Pyongyang for making a nuclear bomb.

According to the non-confirmed information, at the negotiations of high-ranking diplomats from the United States, the DPRK and China in April in Beijing, the North Korean side allegedly admitted that it possessed nuclear weapons. Moreover, the spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry officially spoke the other day about the necessity to have "mighty containment forces" to counter the military threat on the part of the United States.

As has been reported from Seoul, in the second half of May George W. Bush will meet with South Korean President No Mu-hyon to coordinate with him the actions with regard to the DPRK, with which the South Korean leadership is trying to preserve relatively warm relations and to develop economic cooperation.

Both Japan and South Korea stand for peaceful settlement of the crisis, which has arisen in connection with the North Korean nuclear programme, that was resumed after the eight-year interval at the end of the last year, when the United States included the DPRK in the countries of the so-called axis of evil, alongside with Iraq and Iran. As Secretary General of the Japanese Cabinet of Ministers Yasuo Fukuda told reporters, no changes have taken place in the position of Tokyo on the comprehensive solution of the North Korean problem by peaceful means.

At the same time opinions are expressed more and more often in Tokyo on the necessity of taking economic sanctions against North Korea. In other words, it implies blockade, which is regarded by Pyongyang as the declaration of war.

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