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Powell Urges Burma to Release Aung San Suu Kyi - 2003-06-18


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has expressed satisfaction over Asian support for U.S. positions regarding Burma and North Korea. Secretary Powell says members of the ASEAN Regional Forum have made a clear call for the Korean Peninsula to be free of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Powell said,"ASEAN's help in keeping pressure on North Korea is absolutely necessary to achieve a diplomatic solution that leaves the peninsula, the region and the world safer."

Mr. Powell noted Wednesday that North Korea says it has a nuclear bomb, so it is logical for Asian leaders to want multilateral negotiations on ending Pyongyang's nuclear program. North Korea says it wants to talk only to the United States.

The U.S. official says he is pleased that so many forum members spoke out strongly on the crackdown in Burma. He reiterated his call for the Burmese government to release detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr.Powell Thursday heads to the Middle East. He hopes restore momentum to the U.S. proposed road map to peace, which has been weakened by renewed Palestinian and Israeli violence.

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