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U.S.: N. Korea Not Nuke Weapons State

Thursday, 22 April 2010 08:24 AM

SEOUL - The United States said Wednesday it will not recognize North Korea as a nuclear weapons state, after the North said it would rejoin international dismantlement efforts only as an equal to such countries.

``We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state,'' State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters in Washington, D.C.

Earlier in the day, the North published a memorandum outlining its nuclear policy in which it vowed to continue its nuclear weapons program as it sees fit, but that it would not produce excessively or compete in an arms race.

In the memo, Pyongyang also expressed its willingness to join international disarmament efforts, if treated as an equal partner to nuclear weapons states.

Crowley reiterated the U.S. call for the North to abide by international obligations and return to the negotiations on its denuclearization.

``As we've said many, many times, if it meets its obligations, if it comes constructively back to the six-party process, then there are opportunities available to North Korea for a different relationship with the United States,'' he said

``This is not a new request from North Korea,'' Crowley said of the North's statement. ``It continues to avoid what it knows it has to do. Its current path is a dead end. North Korea ultimately has no choice but to come forward and engage the international community.''

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Thursday, 22 April 2010 08:24 AM
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