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North Korea Rejects Nuclear Negotiations, Blasts US 'Hostile' Policy

  • Daniel Schearf

North Korea rejected a call to return to negotiations on ending its nuclear programs. Pyongyang has been under increasing pressure to return to the negotiating table.

North Korea's representative to annual meetings of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Phuket, Thailand, strongly rejected negotiations, despite the promise of new incentives to end its nuclear programs.

Ri Hung-Sik, the spokesman for the North Korean delegation, says the breakdown in talks was Washington's fault. He dismissed Washington's offer of a package of incentives for fulfilling its pledge to abandon nuclear weapons.

Ri says the so-called package is nonsense. He says the current crisis is due to the hostile U.S. policy.

Ri made the comments during meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its dialogue partners, including China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

North Korea's nuclear program was one of the main topics at the meetings. Foreign ministers there agreed that Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens regional stability and should be stopped.

At the meetings, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Pyongyang has no friends left.

She said Pyongyang stood to receive financial and diplomatic benefits form the U.S. and its partners if it ended the nuclear programs.

North Korea in April walked away from six-nation talks to end its nuclear programs. It later exploded its second nuclear device.

The United Nations issued fresh sanctions against Pyongyang following the explosion and a series of missile tests.

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