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Friday, July 17, 2009

New IAEA head Amano hopes to revive six-party process


Staff writer

Reviving the six-party talks remains a vital component of the effort to denuclearize North Korea, Yukiya Amano, the next director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Thursday in Tokyo.

But Amano, who earlier this month became the first Asian voted in as head of the nuclear watchdog, noted that the IAEA can only play its role once Pyongyang agrees to allow inspectors to enter its nuclear facilities.

"There needs to be steps forward within the six-party talks on a process for denuclearization," he said in a news conference at the Foreign Ministry, adding that the IAEA is ready to do its job when called upon.

Turning to Iran, Amano acknowledged that Tehran hasn't fully cooperated in the release of information on its nuclear programs and that the agency will continue to push the government for more transparency.

Amano, who has served with the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna since 2005, said nuclear nonproliferation and promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy are two key objectives for the IAEA today.

He said he will continue to push for both with Japan, the only country to have experienced nuclear attacks. He added that Tokyo is ready to provide technological assistance to those who pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Abductee's kin sue

KOBE (Kyodo) The parents of a woman who was abducted by North Korea in 1983 filed a ¥10 million damages suit Thursday against a journalist who remarked on a TV program that the abductee must already be dead.

The parents of Keiko Arimoto were quoted as saying by their supporters they were hurt by Soichiro Tahara's remark. Speaking on air on April 25, Tahara said the Foreign Ministry is aware that Arimoto is not alive. Arimoto's parents filed the suit with the Kobe District Court.



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