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North Korea Denies Nuclear Cooperation With Iran

1/28/07 By VOA News

North Korea is dismissing speculation in Western media that it is secretly helping Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

Pyongyang's state-media carried a government statement Saturday that denies allegations published in a British newspaper earlier this week. The statement called the allegations a "sheer lie" and "fabrication."

On Wednesday, The Daily Telegraph quoted an anonymous European defense official who alleged that North Korea was helping Iran to prepare for its own underground nuclear test, possibly before the end of this year.

North Korea says it will continue to honor its duty in the area of nuclear nonproliferation as a "responsible nuclear state." Pyongyang quit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 2003.

The international community is pressuring both North Korea and Iran to give up nuclear weapons programs. Iran maintains its program is only for peaceful purposes.

The U.S. says North Korea has sold missiles to Iran. North Korea has publicly acknowledged its nuclear weapons program uses plutonium, while Iran's is based on uranium. Tehran claims it has the right to develop a nuclear capability for power generation.

Pyongyang's state-media says that last week, an Iranian delegation met with senior North Korean officials and signed a three-year agreement on unspecified scientific exchanges.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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