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Ban urges US to hold talks with N Korea

United Nations Secretary-General-designate Ban Ki-moon has urged US to have 'diplomatic' talks with Pyongyang.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2006 10:00 IST

Regretting North Korea's rejection of the Security Council's resolution asking it to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme, the United Nations Secretary-General-designate Ban Ki-moon has urged United States to have 'diplomatic' talks with Pyongyang.

"If possible, it would be a good opportunity, the United States has expressed on many occasions that they will be prepared to talk with North Korea if and when they return to six-party talks."

"I hope North Korea will take this opportunity to discuss all their concerns," he told ABC television network in an interview on Sunday.

Despite China's reservations, Ban said he believes Saturday's resolution imposing sanctions will be fully enforced. "I'm confident that member states will fully implement this resolution so that there will be no concern." The key to the issue, he said, is diplomacy.

He said the North Korean nuclear test is a "clear threat to international peace and security."

To a question on Iraq, the UN Secretary-general-designate praised US for what it is attempting to accomplish in Iraq, according to the transcript of the interview posted on ABC News' website.

"America with other members (of the United Nations) have been making a great contribution to restore peace and stability to the Iraqi people," he said.

"We have a high admiration for all that the United States has been doing. We hope that the Iraqi people will be able to enjoy genuine stability," he added.

First Published: Oct 16, 2006 08:58 IST