Egypt condemns North Korean nuclear test

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CAIRO: Egypt firmly condemned North Korea s first nuclear test Monday but also urged South Korea to show restraint and pursue diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis. Egypt is categorically opposed to any nuclear explosion or other measure that could threaten world peace and security or contravenes the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit told reporters. North Korea s first atom bomb test – which drew a barrage of international criticism – confirmed the impoverished and reclusive Stalinist regime as the world s eighth declared nuclear power. The Egyptian foreign minister urged both countries in the Korean peninsula to exercise restraint, calling on both Pyongyang and Seoul to refrain from hasty measures that would heighten tensions in the region . We will take stern but calm and strategically well-adjusted measures, South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun said in reaction to the test. Abul-Gheit expressed his support for a peaceful resolution to the crisis and also advocated a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, a reference to Israel s widely suspected nuclear arsenal and U.S.-led accusations that Iran is seeking one too.

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