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North Korea Rules Out Dialogue With 'Gangster-Like' US

  • VOA News

FILE - Thousands of North Koreans gather at the Kim Il Sung Square.

FILE - Thousands of North Koreans gather at the Kim Il Sung Square.

North Korea is dismissing the possibility of renewing talks with the United States, which it said is trying to overthrow the communist government in Pyongyang.

In a statement Wednesday, the National Defense Commission, North Korea's top military body, also threatened retaliatory nuclear and cyberattacks on the U.S.

"Now that the gangster-like U.S. imperialists' military strategy towards the DPRK is inching close to the stage of igniting a war of aggression, the just counteraction of the army and people of the DPRK will be focused on inflicting the bitterest disasters upon the United States of America," the statement read.

Such inflammatory comments are common in the lead-up to Washington's annual joint military drills with South Korea, which are set to begin in March. Pyongyang says it views the drills as preparation to invade.

The statement, published on the website of the Korean Central News Agency, also appeared to respond to a recent interview in which President Barack Obama said the Pyongyang government was destined to someday collapse.

"It is the decision of the army and people of the DPRK to have no longer the need or willingness to sit at the negotiating table with the U.S. since the latter seeks to stamp out the ideology of the former and 'bring down' its social system," the NDC said.

North Korea in 2009 walked out of six-nation talks aimed at convincing Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program in exchange for badly needed aid and security guarantees. It has since conducted several nuclear and missile tests, despite worldwide condemnation.

Reports recently surfaced that the U.S. was willing to consider bilateral talks involving the top U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, Sung Kim. North Korea wanted the dialogue to take place in Pyongyang, but the U.S. rejected the offer.

State Department officials on Tuesday said there were no current plans for talks and repeated the longstanding U.S. insistence that any improvement in relations is conditional on North Korea demonstrating it is willing to give up its nuclear program.

South Korea, which is in a technical state of war with the North, said Wednesday it will continue trying to "build trust between South and North Korea through dialogue and cooperation, according to Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol.

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