South Korea's former North-South unification minister, a possible 2007 presidential contender, is urging the United States to ease financial restrictions against North Korea as a way to encourage progress at coming nuclear disarmament talks.
Chung Dong-young, whose high-profile meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il last year led to a resumption of the stalled six-nation talks at the time, also said Tuesday that a failure to rid the North of its weapons could spur a nuclear arms race in Northeast Asia.
"Should Japan, Taiwan and Korea build their own nuclear weapons, the implication on global security would be much graver than North Korea's nuclear ambition," Chung said at a speech at Johns Hopkins University's school of international studies. "We don't need to imagine the destruction that it would create."
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