North Korea still hot spot

TOKYO - A senior Japanese diplomat expressed pessimism yesterday that North Korea would shut its nuclear facilities by a promised deadline this month.

TOKYO - A senior Japanese diplomat expressed pessimism yesterday that North Korea would shut its nuclear facilities by a promised deadline this month.

"It's becoming increasingly difficult to achieve," said Shotaro Yachi, vice minister for foreign affairs.

North Korea promised to shut down its plutonium-producing plants by April 14.

But Pyongyang last month stormed out of talks after not receiving R188million of its funds frozen in a Macau bank. - Sapa

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