The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 3, 2006

Statement on North Korean Nuclear Test

The United States is seriously concerned about today's announcement by the North Korean government of its intention to undertake a nuclear test. Such an action would be directly contrary to the interests of all of North Korea's neighbors and to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. We will work with Japan, South Korea, and all our partners to register our opposition to this provocative announcement.

The United States and its Six Party partners seek the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful, diplomatic means.

We continue to strive for implementation of the September 2005 Joint Statement, which resulted from the Six Party Talks and which offers North Korea a clear path to a positive future and concrete benefits in return for carrying out its commitment to denuclearize.

We continue to work with our Six Party partners to bring the North Koreans back to the talks, most recently offering a Six Party Ministerial meeting in Malaysia to allow the North Koreans a high-level venue in which to express their concerns.

We call on all five members of the Six Party Talks and the United Nations Security Council -- as stated in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1695 -- to exert every effort to persuade North Korea that the test of a nuclear weapon would only bring its further isolation and would not be in the interest of the North Korean people.

To our disappointment, North Korea continues to reject these efforts, refuses to carry out its commitment in the September 2005 Joint Statement to denuclearize, and has refused to return to the Six Party Talks for 11 months.

A North Korean test of a nuclear weapon would severely undermine our confidence in North Korea's commitment to denuclearization and to the Six Party Talks and would pose a threat to peace and security in Asia and the world. A provocative action of this nature would only further isolate the North Korean regime and deny the people of the North the benefits offered to them in the Six Party Talks that they so rightly deserve.

The United States will continue to work with its allies and partners to discourage such a reckless action and will respond appropriately. We stand firmly with our allies in the region and reaffirm our commitment to their security.

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