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No entry for N Korean ships at Australia's ports

In the wake of UN sanctions against North Korea, Australia goes a step further.

October 16, 2006

Keep off! This will be what Australia has to tell North Korean ships heading for the ports Down Under. The decision to ban North Korean vessels from entering its ports in a toughening of the Aussie anger against the North Korean nuclear test.

Australia, whish is a key US ally in the Asia-Pacific region, has been supporting international response to the North Korea’s N-test of last Monday. The country had also supported the UN Security Council’s resolution to bring in sanctions on the nuke -Korea. The port ban comes in addition to the UN sanctions.

The UN had passed a resolution which exhorted all nations to inspect cargo from North Korea to prevent any illegal weapons trafficking. The move was also aimed at freezing assets linked to North Korean weapons program. The Aussies are not prepared to stop at just that. It wanted t go a bit further . The country plans to supply naval ships to a force that could stop and search North Korean ships.

In the meantime, elsewhere in the neighborhood parleys after parleys have become the norm. Even as Japan has arranged to send its foreign minister to a meeting on the N-issue this week in South Korea with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a top US official was scheduled to arrive in Japan for more talks. The Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill was scheduled to meet with Kenichiro Sasae, Japan's chief envoy to the six-nation talks.

The six-party talks comprise China, Japan, Russia, the United States and South and North Korea. Condoleeza Rice is expected to arrive in Tokyo on Wednesday before traveling to South Korea and China.




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