N.Korea Must Start to Denuclearize Before Talks, Says U.S.

The U.S. will continue to strengthen existing sanctions against North Korea in efforts to persuade the Stalinist country to abandon its nuclear program, a senior official said Wednesday.

Glyn Davies, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, told lawmakers, "We know we must keep pressure on Pyongyang or it will not give up the weapons it claims it needs."

Davies was speaking at a hearing of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee's Asia-Pacific subcommittee on the 20th anniversary of the failed Geneva accords whereby North Korea agreed to give up the nuclear arms program in exchange for a light-water reactor.

The North is "increasingly a global outlier in every sense," he said, and "wants to use six-party talks... as cover to continue its clandestine weapons development. We are not interested in six-party talks that do not focus directly on steps to implement" the North’s 2005 promise to dismantle its nuclear arms program.

He urged the North Korean regime to take "meaningful" steps toward denuclearization.

That reaffirms Seoul's and Washington's position that they will not resume the six-nation talks unconditionally, as the North is demanding.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 01, 2014 12:35 KST