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