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Ban Hopes to Visit N Korea
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UN secretary general-designate Ban Ki-Moon hopes to travel to North Korea and meet its leader Kim Jong-Il once he takes up his duties at the world body, Ban said in an interview published by the Newsweek magazine on Sunday.

"If necessary, I will take my own initiative which will include visiting North Korea and meeting with North Korean leaders," Ban said.

"I think that I would be in a much better position than any other previous secretary-general, as I come from Korea and have experience," said Ban, who is now a South Koran foreign minister.

Ban also called on North Korea not to conduct further tests in response to sanctions.

"I think North Korea should be more realistic. Considering the economic and political difficulty they are facing, they should have taken a wiser path. Why should they take this dangerous and negative action?" he said.

Meanwhile, John Bolton, US ambassador to the United Nations said in an interview with the NBC on Sunday that If North Korea refused to abandon its nuclear weapons program and continued on the path of building a nuclear arsenal, Washington would ratchet up the pressure to the extent that would make the country impossible to continue its nuclear program.

The United States would do everything possible to ensure that North Korea was unable to procure the "materials and technology and equipment they need to continue these programs," Bolton said.

While reaffirming the US stand of resolving North Korean nuclear issue through diplomacy, the ambassador said President George W. Bush "never takes the military option off the table."

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Saturday on the nuclear test conducted by North Korea.

The resolution, cosponsored by the United States and eight other nations, condemned the nuclear test proclaimed by North Korea, demanded that North Korea eliminate its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and imposed sanctions on North Korea in spheres related to its nuclear, ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2006)

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