News / Asia

    N. Korea Offers to Halt Nuclear Tests in Exchange for Peace Treaty

    FILE - People watch a TV news program showing North Korea's announcement of a hydrogen bomb test, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 6, 2016.
    FILE - People watch a TV news program showing North Korea's announcement of a hydrogen bomb test, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 6, 2016.
    VOA News

    North Korea says it will stop conducting nuclear tests in exchange for a peace treaty with the United States and an end to joint military exercises between Washington and Seoul.

    The proposal, published in North Korea's state media late Friday, is similar to previous offers by Pyongyang that have been quickly rejected by the U.S. and South Korea.

    "Still valid are all proposals for preserving peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia, including the ones for ceasing our nuclear test and the conclusion of a peace treaty in return for a U.S. halt to joint military exercises," said a newsreader on Pyongyang's state-run KRT TV, citing a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

    US reaction

    When asked about the proposal at a briefing Friday, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said he had not heard about the offer.

    "But look, we have significant alliance commitments with the Republic of Korea that we take very, very seriously, and we’re going to continue to make sure that the alliance is ready in all respects to act in defense of the South Korean people and the security of the peninsula," Kirby said.

    FILE - People watch a news report on North Korea's first hydrogen bomb test at a railroad station in Seoul on Jan. 6, 2016.
    FILE - People watch a news report on North Korea's first hydrogen bomb test at a railroad station in Seoul on Jan. 6, 2016.

    North Korea last week conducted its fourth nuclear test, prompting near universal condemnation and further raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

    The test was the focus of a meeting Saturday in Seoul between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lim Sung-nam.

    "We face a significant challenge, but we face it together, in solidarity, and we're grateful for the partnership between the United States and South Korea," Blinken said.

    Earlier this week, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that seeks to deny the Pyongyang government the hard currency it needs for its nuclear weapons program by imposing stronger sanctions.

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    Comments
         
    by: Jake from Albuquerque
    January 20, 2016 1:15 PM
    The stock in trade of a dictatorship is lies: to it's people and other nations. Last of the Soviet Union's puppets, North Korea is on life-support from China. I feel very sorry for the innocent citizens who the regime grinds into the dirt...but believe that soon, they'll awaken and find that they're strong. When that happens, what we're seeing from ISIS will pale in comparison to the bloodletting in Pyongyang. No cadre, military officer, or members of the Kim family will be exempt. "The slave makes a terrible master" describes matters perfectly.

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    January 17, 2016 4:46 AM
    Yes, by all means a peace treaty with the following requirements.

    The North Korean military is disarmed and demobilized, the North Korean regime leaves North Korea for resettlement elsewhere, and the entire peninsula reunified becoming the Republic of Korea.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 16, 2016 7:53 PM
    The US should reject the deal. The UN demand is unconditional. Their stopping testing does not mean they'd stop researching, building, and deploying weapons. NK wants peace, it should surrender to the South unconditionally.

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