Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Gadhafi urged North Korea to give up nuclear weapons

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi told a visiting Japanese official that his country has urged North Korea to give up efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, the Foreign Ministry said.

Iwao Matsuda, Japan's state minister for science and technology policy, held talks with Gadhafi in Sebha, about 375 miles south of Tripoli, the ministry said in a statement issued Friday.

Gadhafi surprised the world in late 2003 when he swore off terrorism and announced plans to dismantle his country's weapons of mass destruction programs. Libya was eager to end his international isolation and economic hardships from United Nations and U.S. sanctions, and Gadhafi concluded the weapons programs were best used as a bargaining chip.

Gadhafi told Matsuda that Libya has been urging North Korea to follow his country's example and called for cooperation from developed countries including Japan in persuading Pyongyang, the ministry said.

[Associated Press]

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