WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration hopes diplomatic pressure on North Korea will persuade Pyongyang to refrain from spreading nuclear weapons technology and to continue abiding by a self-imposed moratorium on test firing missiles.
A U.S. official said these are key goals of Undersecretary of State John Bolton during a five-nation mission that began shortly after the administration disclosed that North Korea acknowledged it was attempting to develop nuclear weapons.
Bolton was in China on Friday and plans additional stops in Russia, France, Britain and Belgium.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the administration also wants these countries to exert pressure on North Korea not to reprocess spent fuel, a key element in the production of nuclear weapons.
North Korea agreed in 1999 to a moratorium on missile testing and said recently it expects to continue it indefinitely. The United States has welcomed the pledge but remains concerned about North Korean exports of long range missiles to the Middle East and elsewhere.
The administration is now worried that, in addition to missiles, Pyongyang will attempt to export weapons technology.
China has close trade ties with North Korea and probably has more influence over Pyongyang than any other country.
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