Tags: NKorea | nuke | talks | pressure

NKorea Pressures U.S. on Nuke Talks

Monday, 02 November 2009 11:04 AM

SEOUL — North Korea on Monday pressed the United States to hold direct talks on ending their nuclear stand-off and vowed to "go its own way" if Washington refuses to do so.

Repeating an earlier offer, the foreign ministry in the hardline communist state said successful bilateral talks could lead to a resumption of stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament negotiations.

The North did not elaborate on the threat to "go its own way". But after quitting the six-party forum in April, it vowed to restart plants at Yongbyon which can produce weapons-grade plutonium.

In May it staged a second atomic weapons test, the second since 2006.

"North Korea is now telling the US that it will further bolster its nuclear deterrent unless Washington comes out early for bilateral talks," Professor Koh Yu-Hwan, of South Korea's Dongguk University, told AFP.

Seoul officials quoted by Yonhap news agency said the North has apparently reopened the plant which reprocesses plutonium from spent fuel rods at its main nuclear complex.

"The reprocessing factory appears to have been restored to its earlier condition," the agency quoted a senior defence official as saying on condition of anonymity, citing satellite photos.

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Monday, 02 November 2009 11:04 AM
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