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US to N. Korea: No Negotiations Over 'Threats or Broken Commitments' - 2002-12-27


The Bush administration says it will not negotiate with North Korea in response to what it calls "threats" about the country's nuclear weapons program. North Korea says it is expelling monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

White House officials say the United States seeks a peaceful resolution of the dispute over North Korea's nuclear program but insist Washington will not negotiate with Pyongyang over what officials call "threats or broken commitments."

Under a 1994 accord with the United States, North Korea agreed to stop producing nuclear power and suspend its nuclear weapons program in exchange for fuel and economic assistance.

Earlier this year, North Korean officials admitted that they had resumed their nuclear weapons program. The United States responded by cutting-off oil supplies. Now North Korea says it is restarting two nuclear reactors to generate power to make-up for that lack of fuel.

White House officials say North Korea's decision is not about producing electricity but is meant to bolster the country's nuclear weapons program.

Administration officials say there is no intention to resolve the dispute militarily. Instead, they say President Bush will continue to work with China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea to bring pressure on North Korea to keep its reactors closed and give-up its nuclear weapons program.

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