Wien, 13. February 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "North Korea seizing the chance to take a step out of its isolation"

13.02.2007

Foreign Minister comments on news of breakthrough in talks with North Korea

Vienna, 13 February 2007 - "The news of progress in the six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear programme is a welcome glimmer of hope for the entire region", said Minister for Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik in response to the news that North Korea had agreed to close down its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon and other nuclear facilities and allow the return of international inspectors in return for substantial quantities of fuel aid. "Pyongyang is now called upon to walk the walk as well as talking the talk. By going ahead with this North Korea is seizing the chance to take a step out of its increasing isolation", stressed Plassnik.

The international community of states would hold fast to its aim of inducing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme. "Stability in the region can only be guaranteed in the long term once the Korean peninsula is free of nuclear weapons. This is also in the interest of the people of North Korea", the Foreign Minister added. In this context Plassnik recalled the UN Security Council's clear and unanimous condemnation of the nuclear test carried out by North Korea last autumn.

"This breakthrough clearly shows that direct talks paired with the political will to reach agreement are the best instrument for getting things moving, even in apparently deadlocked conflicts. That is why the international community should not stop insisting on a negotiated solution vis-à-vis Iran too", emphasised the Foreign Minister.

Contact:
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
abti3(at)bmaa.gv.at