November 12, 2013 11:06
North Korea has refused to take any steps toward denuclearization unless six-party talks on its nuclear program start first.
The North "will take no preliminary steps" to seek resumption of the six-party talks, said the official Rodong Sinmun daily said Monday.
The refusal comes in response to insistence from Japan, South Korea and the U.S. that Pyongyang must make good on pledges from previous rounds of the talks if they are to resume.
It comes amid lively shuttle diplomacy between the three countries and China, the nominal chair of the talks, to seek a way out of the impasse.
Chief Chinese nuclear envoy Wu Dawei visited Washington and Pyongyang in recent weeks while chief South Korean nuclear negotiator Cho Tae-yong is expected to go to Beijing following his recent trip to Washington.
The daily said the North's answer to the demands "is that the U.S. should not expect us to take any preliminary step."
"We are neither in a hurry nor afraid of anything," the daily added. "We will never take any preliminary denuclearization measure unless the U.S. shows with action that it will revoke its hostile policy" against the North.
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