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Prime Minister is concerned North Korea claims it has some nuclear capacity.

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Friday 11 February 2005

Prime Minister is concerned North Korea claims it has some nuclear capacity


TONY EASTLEY: The Prime Minister also this morning expressed concern ab out North Korea's claims that it's pulled out of international discussions, the so-called six power talks aimed at curbing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. 


Overnight the reclusive communist state confirmed for the first time that it possesses nuclear weapons. 


JOHN HOWARD: Well, disconcerting, a reminder of the kind of country we're dealing with. There could be an element of bluff. I'm not absolutely certain that the six power talks have collapsed, and we will renew our efforts, particularly with the Chinese and the Americans and the Japanese, to see if we can't re-establish those six power talks. 


But it's a reminder that we are not dealing with a typical democratic regime, or even a regime which is, although authoritarian, keen to be a good world citizen. And it's a quite dangerous situation.  


Now there's an element of bluff, I'm sure, there's an element of exaggeration, even if she does have some nuclear capacity, it's probably being exaggerated.  


But nobody should imagine that this is anything other than a real problem and one that has to be handled with a great deal of skill and balance. 


TONY EASTLEY: The Prime Minister John Howard, speaking about North Korea on the Today show on Channel Nine a short time ago.