Hans Blix sees easing of tensions over Iran and N Korea | india | Hindustan Times
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Hans Blix sees easing of tensions over Iran and N Korea

Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix is cautiously optimistic about an end to the crises over Iran and N Korea's alleged development of n-weapons

india Updated: Feb 18, 2004 12:02 IST

Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said he was cautiously optimistic about an end to the crises over Iran and North Korea's alleged development of nuclear weapons.

"The geopolitical context of North Korea is very different from that of Iraq: Seoul is within artillery range from North Korea, which makes you think if you want to attack the country," said Blix, who opposed the US-led war on Iraq.

"The talks with North Korea are led on a multilateral level, with the US, Russia and Japan," he told a news conference in Berlin.

He said the international community must remain vigilant over Pyongyang, but said he was "cautiously optimistic" about both North Korea and Iran.

The nuclear crisis involving Pyongyang erupted in October 2002 when Washington said North Korea had admitted running a clandestine nuclear weapons programme based on enriched uranium.

On Iran, Blix said last year's diplomatic mission involving the foreign ministers of Germany, Britain and France, was "useful."

During the unprecedented visit last year, Tehran -- accused by the United States of trying to develop nuclear weapons -- agreed to accept tighter controls on its nuclear programme.