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N Korea to join efforts for total nuclear weapons test ban

AFP  |  Geneva 

plans to join international efforts to implement a total ban on tests, it told the disarmament body today.

"DPRK will join international desires and efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests," North Korea's to the UN in Geneva Han Tae-song said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament, using North Korea's official acronym.

His comment came amid a recent whirlwind of diplomacy and outreach by the long isolated regime.

Dialogue brokered by has seen US-relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war last year to a summit between and US in on June 12.

last month announced that his country would halt its own nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, which was widely hailed as an important step towards denuclearising the

But has yet to rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it withdrew from in 2003.

It is also one of eight countries with nuclear test capacity, including the United States, and Iran, which have so far failed to either sign or ratify the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, blocking it from taking effect.

Han, who made no reference to the treaties, told the UN assembly that his country aimed to make more "efforts to achieve the development of intra-Korean relations, defuse acute military tensions and substantially remove the danger of the war on the "

"It will make sincere efforts... to establish a durable lasting peace mechanism" with its neighbour to the south, he said, urging the international community to "extend its active support in encouraging and promoting the current positive climate." - 'Historic opportunity' -

US meanwhile told the same forum that his country "welcomes the professed commitment by to end nuclear tests and missile launches and the shut-down of its " The United States, he said, was looking forward to the June 12 summit between and Trump, who only a few short months ago were swapping insults and both openly threatening devastating direct action. Trump last year threatened North Korea with "fire and fury".

Wood described the summit as "a historic opportunity to achieve peace on the " "We hope North Korea will seize the moment and take the bold steps necessary to lead North Korea to a peaceful and prosperous future."

The recent diplomatic frenzy comes after tensions on and around the peninsula had been mounting for years as Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes attracted increasingly strict sanctions by the UN Security Council, the US, EU, and others. Asked about the continued threats of sanctions from Washington, Han warned Tuesday that they were "a dangerous attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 23:30 IST