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North Korea urged to resume talks

Russia's foreign minister has urged North Korea to return to six-nation disarmament talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

The foreign ministry statement says Sergey Lavrov told his North Korean counterpart, Pak Ui Chun, about Russia's "serious concern" over North Korea's new uranium enrichment facility.

The North claimed it has recently completed 2,000 centrifuges that can help enrich uranium for a new reactor.

Pyongyang had agreed to dismantle its nuclear programs in return for aid and other concessions before the talks stalled last year after the nation conducted its second nuclear test.

The call came as a top US military officer said the danger of war or hostilities is rising on the Korean peninsula.

Admiral Mike Mullen said North Korea has raised the ante in its aggression against South Korea and added that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was "very unpredictable".

Admiral Mullen told troops in Iraq that the old tit-for-tat pattern with North Korea has changed.

"It's changed out there, and it's dangerous. Increasingly dangerous," he said during an informal question and answer session with troops.

He said the North's provocations are tied to preparations for Kim's son to take power.

China is the only nation with the power to rein in North Korea, and it should do so, Admiral Mullen said.


From Belfast Telegraph