November 22, 2002

US Praises DPRK's Plan to Sign UN Terrorism Pact

The United States Wednesday welcomed reports that North Korea planned to join a UN pact against terrorism,according to State Department spokesman.

"We have heard confirmation from the European delegation that North Korea indicated to them its intention to ratify the UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism," a State Department spokesman said.

"We would welcome and encourage North Korean cooperation in international efforts to combat terrorism," he said.

Washington took its cue from Europeans as it does not have full relations with Pyongyang, although it discusses terrorism and Pyongyang's missile program with DPRK officials.

DPRK's state-run news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman on Saturday as saying his country would sign the convention and that it opposed all forms of terrorism.

DPRK watchers said the move was aimed at improved ties with the United States, which is especially focused on terrorism in the wake of attacks Sept. 11 on US targets.

Under the Clinton administration, relations with Pyongyang improved dramatically, leading to several high-level exchanges including a trip by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The Bush administration put DPRK relations on ice when it took office in January but has since offered talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's missile program.

(,a hreeef="http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/">People's Daily November 8,2001)

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