Labor supports cheap coal to N Koreaadmin
LABOR said today it would support any government offer of cheap coal for North Korea to get the rogue state back into peace talks and put an end to the missile crisis..
The Australian newspaper reported today that Australia is prepared to offer North Korea a cheap secure energy deal, probably coal shipments, in a bid to end the missile crisis.
The report comes after US President George W. Bush rang Prime Minister John Howard to lobby support for potential sanctions against North Korea over its test launch of seven missiles this week.
The newspaper said there was a long-standing arrangement from the US to offer North Korea secure supplies of energy in return for its cooperation.
It said Australia had indicated a willingness to help with coal supplies.
”Labor is very concerned about North Korea’s action and we would support any action that had a prospect of bringing North Korea back into the international fold and turning it into a responsible international citizen,” Opposition public accountability spokesman Kelvin Thomson said today.
”We support all diplomatic channels being pursued to get North Korea to do the right thing.
”We believe in the Non-Proliferation Treaty and countries acting in a peaceful manner.
”North Korea’s action constitutes a threat to that.”
Mr Howard has described North Korea as unpredictable and irrational and cancelled a planned diplomatic visit to the rogue state.
Tough travel restrictions have been imposed on North Korean officials.
Meanwhile senior Australian officials have been sent to Washington, Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul for urgent talks on the missile crisis.
The prime minister’s office has declined to comment on the report.