• 20:51
  • 25.05.2020
North Korea rules out nuke negotiations

North Korea rules out nuke negotiations

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North Korea is ruling out negotiations with Washington as long as joint US-South Korea military exercises continue, saying Pyongyang's atomic weapons program would remain as a deterrent against a US nuclear threat.
In an interview with Reuters, Han Tae Song, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, brushed off the new sanctions which the Trump administration says it's preparing, as well as the possibility of North Korea being added to a US list of states sponsoring terrorism.
South Korea and the United States agreed on Friday to keep working for a peaceful end to the North Korean nuclear crisis, but a US envoy said it was difficult to gauge the reclusive North's intentions.
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"As long as there is continuous hostile policy against my country by the US and as long as there are continued war games at our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations," North Korea's Han said.
Han, who is ambassador to the UN's Conference on Disarmament, was speaking at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) mission in Geneva, where the DPRK and the United States secured a 1994 nuclear deal which later fell apart.
He said he had no information on when North Korea might test a ballistic missile again, after the last one two months ago.
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"Our country plans ultimate completion of the nuclear force," he said.
China said on Thursday that a "dual suspension" proposal to handle North Korea was still the best option, after US President Donald Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had rejected a "freeze for freeze" agreement.
Han, asked about China's latest appeal for a freeze, said "the situation is far from those things".
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Han said that US administrations had "never accepted" halting joint military exercises, adding: "So if they accept such things, then we will think what we do in the future."
North Korea could not consider abandoning its nuclear programme, he said, adding: "This is the deterrent, the nuclear deterrent to cope with the nuclear threat from America."
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