North Korea nuclear issue focus of G-8 foreign ministers' meeting in Japan

Foreign ministers from wealthy countries urged a close examination of North Korea's declaration of its nuclear programs Friday to determine how close it brings the communist state to surrendering its atomic ambitions, Japan's foreign minister said. The ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized countries huddled for a second day of talks expected to focus on nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran, the Middle East peace process, and the furor over Zimbabwe's presidential election. Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura told reporters that the first morning session was dominated by Iran and North Korea's handing over of the declaration to China, which then triggered a U.S. announcement that it would ease sanctions on the impoverished regime. Komura said G-8 ministers were cautious about Pyongyang's intentions. "We agreed on the importance of thoroughly examining the declaration for the sake of achieving nuclear abandonment, which is the final goal," he said, adding that other ministers voiced support for Japan's demands for full resolution of the kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents.