So. Korea rethinking stand on PSI

April 3, 2009 at 1:44 AM
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SEOUL, April 3 (UPI) -- South Korea may join the Proliferation Security Initiative if North Korea launches a rocket despite Pyongyang's threat of an armed response, officials say.

The PSI, started by the Bush administration in 2003, aims to prevent North Korea from getting weapons of mass destruction by stopping ships believed to be carrying either the weapons or materials to make them.

Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said in March the government would review its stance toward the PSI in the event of a North Korean launch, the Yonhap news agency said. Lee Myung-bak, who became president last year, takes a far more aggressive stance towards the north than his predecessor, Roh Moo-hyun, the report said.

Roh believed engaging the north was the best course and refused to take action even when North Korea carried out a nuclear test in 2006, Yonhap said.

North Korea claims it is planning to launch a satellite. But the United States, Japan and other countries fear that is a cover for a launch of a rocket with enough range to reach the United States.

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