*Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) JEJU, South Korea - August 1, 2009: Former US president George W. Bush said on Saturday the five nations involved in nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea must send a unified warning against Pyongyang's continued defiance. Former US president George W. Bush delivers a speech to a group of South Korean business leaders on Jeju island. In a speech before a group of South Korean business leaders here, Bush said "true verification" would be essential even if the communist state promised to dismantle its nuclear programmes in accordance with UN resolutions. "The five nations must send a unified message to North Korean leaders" that if they continue defying UN resolutions, there will be consequences including economic sanctions by the United Nations, Bush said. "It's hard to deal with countries like North Korea, which has not much transparency... True verification is very important and words must be matched by verifiable actions." The six-party talks -- involving China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States -- reached a deal in 2007 to provide North Korea with security guarantees and badly needed fuel if it ends its nuclear weapons drive. But North Korea stormed out of the deal in April, saying it was protesting a UN Security Council statement criticising its test of a missile. A month later, Pyongyang tested a nuclear bomb, leading to UN Security Council Resolution 1874 which calls for further inspections of air, sea and land shipments going to and from North Korea, and an expanded arms embargo. A US envoy handling the sanctions, Philip Goldberg, is heading to Asia and Russia in mid-August on a tour aimed at carrying out sanctions. North Korea said last week it was open to a "specific and reserved" dialogue outside the six-party talks on its nuclear weapons programme. But the United States has stood firm on seeking to revive six-nation talks with North Korea and pressed ahead with sanctions, despite an appeal by the UN chief to switch to negotiating. Bush urged South Koreans and others to not to forget the plight of North Koreans suffering from "forced labour, brutal repression". "I believe everybody has rights to be free and I believe some day people in North Korea will be free," he said. Asked what he misses the most about his eight years in the presidency, Bush said "a lot". "Air Force One is very comfortable," he said, to laughter, adding that he also missed his staff. "We've.become very good buddies," he told the meeting. Among those things he did not miss, he said, were the "harshness of political process" and "name calling", adding that he wanted be remembered as a president who was firm on "principles and values".