July 02, 2013 09:28
A defiant North Korea on Monday said its nuclear weapons "are neither a bargaining chip nor a topic on a dialogue table." The announcement came after President Park Geun-hye and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping last week condemned the North's nuclear weapons as a "serious threat" and pledged to work together so the North abandons them.
That suggests the North's recent promise to return to six-party talks, made by a top military figure during a visit to Beijing, was so much hot air.
A spokesman for the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland denounced Park for uttering "provocative gibberish that seriously hurts" the North's "dignity and social system" during her visit to China.
The committee accused Park of "desperate efforts to win support" from China and of "audacious talk about 'intolerance'" of the North's nuclear weapons when she does not take issue with U.S.' nuclear arsenal.
The North also slammed Park's proposal for a trust-building process on the Korean Peninsula, calling it a "pipe dream" no different from former president Lee Myung-bak's failed attempts to reward denuclearization with economic support.
Pyongyang was careful not to spew the same venom against China, on which it depends for vital supplies, even though Park and Xi mostly agreed that the North must return to six-party talks and abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk explained that Park meant that contrary to the North's stated policy of pursuing nuclear and economic development in tandem, its nuclear arms development is in fact a huge obstacle to any foreign investment that could benefit its economy.
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