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'NKorea's nuke tests opportunity to eliminate atomic weapons'

world Updated: May 28, 2009 09:48 IST

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North Korea's nuclear tests, which sent shock waves around the world drawing international condemnation, provide a "unique opportunity" to take strong steps towards complete elimination of atomic weapons, the White House said on Thursday.

"I think it gives the entire world the unique opportunity to take the strong steps that the (US) President has outlined," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

During his maiden European trip as the US President, Barack Obama at a meeting in Prague, outlined an ambitious agenda towards elimination of nuclear weapons and push for speedy negotiations in this regard.

On being asked whether the North Korean nuclear tests are going to undermine progress on the Comprehensive Test ban Treaty and on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or somehow will it redouble efforts, Gibbs responded "strong steps needs to be taken in this regard."

"I think we all are keenly aware of what is involved and the stakes that are involved. The team continues to work ahead of the Moscow summit in order to make progress on these issues. They are working towards that," he said.