N.Korea blows off Russian-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty
MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea shrugged off the importance to the new U.S.-Russian arms reduction treaty signed in Prague in early April, the central North Korean Rodong Sinmun newspaper said on Wednesday.
Russia and the United States, which possess about 90% of global arsenals of nuclear weapons, signed the treaty to reduce the number of nuclear warheads to 1,550 on each side and the number of deployed and non-deployed delivery vehicles to 800 on each side in Prague on April 8.
"Today, after a long time since the end of the Cold War, it can be said that there is no real sense in nuclear weapons reduction if one looks at the new situation when the danger of a world nuclear war has been diminished," the Tokyo-based Korean Choson Sinbo newspaper website cited Rodong Sinmun as reporting.
"The only thing that is noteworthy in the treaty is that it shows the possibility of a definite reduction in nuclear arms on conditions of mutual trust and not on conditions of adversary relations," Rodong Sinmun reported.
"Even if Russia and the U.S. fulfill the terms of the treaty, they will still retain a great nuclear advantage over other countries that also have nuclear weapons," said Rodong Sinmun.
North Korea is banned from conducting nuclear or ballistic tests under UN Resolution 1718, adopted after North Korea's first nuclear test on October 9, 2006.
However, Pyongyang carried out a second nuclear test on May 25, 2009, followed by a series of short-range missile launches, and has threatened to build up its nuclear arsenal to counter what it calls hostile U.S. policies.
The six-party talks involving the two Koreas, China, the United States, Russia and Japan came to a halt last April when North Korea walked out of negotiations in protest against the United Nations' condemnation of its missile tests.
"Establishing trust between North Korea and the USA is the most pressing task and the key to solving the problem," the newspaper said.
According to the paper, a peace treaty on the 1950-1953 Korean War between the United States and North Korea needs to be signed before there is even any thought of Korea getting rid of its nuclear weapons.
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