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US not to accept DPRK as nuclear weapon state

THE United States will not accept the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) as a nuclear weapon state, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the 2009 Asian security summit today.

Gates said that the policy of the United States has not changed. "Our goal is complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," he said.

Speaking at the annual summit, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, Gates said that the DPRK has chosen to focus the limited energies and resources on nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. He said that these programs and actions have isolated the DPRK globally, and have constituted a threat to regional peace and security.

"We unequivocally reaffirm our commitment to the defense of our allies in the region." Gates said, adding that the United States will not stand idly by as DPRK builds the capacity to wreak destruction on any target in Asia, or on the United States.

The annual Asia Security Summit, organized by the London International Institute for Strategic Studies, is being held in Singapore from May 29 to 31.

The forum brings together about 22 ministerial-level guests, along with parliamentarians, military leaders and security experts from more than 27 countries and regions for discussions on regional security issues and defense cooperation.


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