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No Talks Planned Between North Korea, US

  • VOA News

North Korea has ruled out nuclear or human rights talks with the U.S. because of what it says are Washington's attempts to overthrow the communist government.

The comment made Tuesday apparently refers to a U.N. draft resolution that recommends referring Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court for its rights record. Pyongyang was accused in a recent U.N. report of committing crimes against humanity.

Japan and the European Union are planning to soon present the non-binding resolution to the General Assembly. The U.S. has strongly supported the effort.

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman accused the U.S. of "pursuing a policy for bringing down the state and social system" of Pyongyang using the pretext of human rights.

The spokesman referenced a 2005 agreement under which the U.S. and North Korea agreed to "respect each other's sovereignty and right to peaceful coexistence."

The official said recent U.S. actions have nullified the deal, adding that the idea of a denuclearized Korean peninsula has now "become totally meaningless."

Under the 2005 agreement, the North also agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program. It later restarted the program and walked out of six-nation talks on the issue in 2009.

North Korean officials have expressed a willingness to restart the talks, but the U.S. insists this cannot happen unless the North first takes steps to show it is willing to denuclearize.

Material for this report came from AFP.

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