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US Dissatisfied with N. Korea Dialogue Plan - 2002-04-03

North Korea says it is ready to resume dialogue with a U.S.-led consortium to build two nuclear reactors in the country. The Bush administration says the North Korean announcement does not address U.S. concerns about weapons of mass destruction.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says the decision to resume talks appears to refer only to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization which is building two light-water nuclear reactors in the country.

He says it does not appear to address U.S. concerns that North Korea could help terrorists acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. "We continue to wait for a response from North Korea to our long-standing proposal to meet with them on broader issues of concern," White House spokesman said.

In his State of the Union address this year, President Bush said North Korea is part of a so-called "axis of evil" along with Iran and Iraq that threatens world peace because they could help terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction.

North Korea rejects such suggestions as "groundless slander."