North Korea calls for nuclear talks “without preconditions”

DPA Bandar Seri Begawan | Updated on March 12, 2018

North Korea today dismissed US calls for evidence of nuclear disarmament as a condition for talks on Pyongyang’s weapons programme, senior North Korean diplomats said.

Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun made the statement during an annual regional security forum in Brunei hosted by the 10-country Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which was also attended by US State Secretary John Kerry.

“If the US truly wants to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, it should accept our offer of high-level talks without preconditions,” Pak was quoted as saying by Choi Myung-nam, the ministry’s deputy director in charge of international affairs.

“We won’t give up our nuclear weapons unless the US withdraws its hostile policy against our country,” Chun told reporters.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said opinions diverged, but described the discussions at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as frank.

On Monday Kerry said Washington and its key Asian allies South Korea, Japan and China were united in calling for the denuclearization of North Korea.

“We stress the need for North Korea to fully comply with the UN Security Council resolutions,” Kerry said. “We agree to strengthen our cooperation in the community in order to ensure full and transparent implementations of those resolutions.” The ARF comprises the 10 members of the South-East Asian bloc and 17 others, including the European Union, United States and Russia.

Published on July 02, 2013

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