Asian nations strategise on nuclear proliferation
Nuclear experts and diplomats from 15 Asia-Pacific nations including US are participating in closed-door talks.Updated: Feb 13, 2006 13:19 IST
Fifteen Asia-Pacific nations including the United States held a strategy session on Monday as to how to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons amid growing concern over North Korea and Iran.
The Tokyo talks aim in part "to share understanding on proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by North Korea and Iran, which is a significant concern of the international community," a Japanese foreign ministry statement said.
Nuclear experts and diplomats from the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations states, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and the US are participating in the closed-door one-day talks.
The talks come two days after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again raised the stakes in his nuclear drive, threatening that the Islamic regime could quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
North Korea pulled out of the NPT in 2003 and is pressing the US to drop financial sanctions as a condition to return to six-nation talks on ending its nuclear programme.
The Tokyo meeting is the third sitting of the so-called Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation, a Japanese initiative launched in 2003 to discuss efforts against weapons of mass destruction.
The diplomats will also talk about proposals to give the IAEA more teeth and to stop the spread of ballistic missiles under the so-called Hague Code of Conduct.
The Asian nuclear talks come ahead of a two-day international meeting in Tokyo on efforts to curb biological weapons.
First Published: Feb 13, 2006 13:19 IST