N. Korea, Iran seek closer relations

N. Korean news agency: Officials held talks "in a friendly atmosphere."

November 18, 2006 12:35
N. Korea, Iran seek closer relations

Kim Jong Il 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


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Officials from North Korea and Iran met in Teheran and exchanged views on how to boost friendly relations between and on issues of mutual concern, the North's official news agency said Saturday. Choe Thae Bok, the head of North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature, held talks with Iranian parliamentary Speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel on Thursday "in a friendly atmosphere," the Korean Central News Agency said, without providing further details. Choe met with Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Wednesday, KCNA said. North Korea and Iran - both labeled parts of an "axis of evil" along with pre-war Iraq by US President George W. Bush - are under growing international pressure to give up their pursuit of nuclear programs. Choe said earlier this week that his country wouldn't need even a single nuclear bomb if the US ceases its nuclear threat and sanctions against North Korea. The North conducted a nuclear test explosion last month. North Korea has said it will rejoin long-stalled six-country talks, expected to resume in Beijing next month, on ending its nuclear weapons program. The talks include the US, the two Koreas, China, Russia and Japan.

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