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North Korea Proposes Talks with U.S.

North Korea has proposed high-level nuclear and security talks with the United States, making the overture just days after a planned meeting with South Korea collapsed.

North Korea's National Defense Commission said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency and broadcast on state radio and television Sunday that Washington can pick a date and place for talks, but no preconditions can be attached.

The proposal says the talks would be aimed at easing tensions on the Korean peninsula and establishing regional peace and security.

Pyongyang said it will remain a nuclear state until all outside nuclear threats against it are ended, and urged the U.S. to drop all sanctions against North Korea.



Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high since the North's third nuclear test in February, which triggered new UN sanctions.

A rare, high-level meeting between the two Koreas, scheduled for last Wednesday, was canceled on Tuesday because of a disagreement over protocol.

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