July 24, 2009 07:44
North Korea on Thursday rejected as "nonsense" an incentive package flagged by the U.S. in return for complete and irreversible denuclearization.
At a press conference at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phuket, Thailand on Thursday, the director-general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's international bureau Ri Hung-sik said the offer would be "nothing but a replay of the Bush administration's policy of complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement" of North Korea's nuclear weapons and programs. "The so-called comprehensive package is nonsense," he said. "In essence, the current crisis is the outcome of the U.S.' deep-rooted hostile policy. How can the U.S. talk about a package deal without abandoning its hostile policy and guaranteeing security and peace for us?... How can we barter security and sovereignty for a few pennies without assurances?"
He added the North was indifferent to UN Security Council sanctions, having already been under sanctions for half a century. He reiterated six-party talks on its nuclear program "are already dead."
During the forum earlier, chief North Korean delegate Pak Kun-gwang, a roving ambassador of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said the U.S. had threatened the North for more than half a century and was still continuing to supply South Korea with weapons of mass destruction. The "anachronistic hostile activities" of the U.S. and South Korea are the "main culprit of the destruction of peace" in Asia and the Pacific, and the North's nuclear weapons purely aimed at the "maintenance of peace and nuclear deterrence."
But Ri left some room for bilateral talks, saying the North had no intention to hold talks with Japan but did not oppose talks with the U.S. Everything depends on the U.S., he added.
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