North Korea Could Resume Nuclear Talks

Created: 2013-07-11 12:43 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

North Korea said on Wednesday that it would not give up its nuclear deterrent until the United States ends its "hostile policy" towards Pyongyang.

It says it’s ready to revive international talks on its nuclear program frozen since 2008.

The United States and its allies believe North Korea violated a 2005 aid-for-denuclearization deal by conducting a nuclear test the following year.

It was also pursuing uranium enrichment that would give it a second path to a nuclear weapon in addition to its plutonium-based atomic program.

North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, So Se Pyong, warned that a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise planned for August would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

He also reiterated his country's call for dismantling the U.S.-led U.N. Command in South Korea, which dates from the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War without a peace treaty.

The 60th anniversary of the armistice falls on July 27.

[So Se Pyong, North Korean Ambassador]:
"[The] DPRK (North Korea) will never give up its nuclear deterrent unless the U.S. fundamentally and irreversibly abandons its hostile policy and nuclear threat towards my country, my loving country the DPRK, and dissolves the U.N. Command, the mechanism which is an aggressive military tool against the DPRK."

He was speaking at a rare news conference held in North Korea's mission in Geneva.

His counterpart at the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Sin Son-ho, made a similar appeal for dissolution of the U.N. Command on June 21.