North Korea sets conditions for talks amid tensions
Iran Press TV
Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:23PM GMT
North Korea has called on the United States and South Korea to immediately halt their military drills while demanding the withdrawal of UN sanctions as conditions for dialogue to diffuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
On Thursday, North Korea’s National Defense Commission said sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council against Pyongyang must be lifted, Washington and Seoul must stop provocations, fully apologize for their aggressions, and stop ongoing nuclear war exercises.
"Fabrications of truth like blaming the North [Korea] for the sinking of a South Korean warship in 2010 and recent Internet hacking of financial institutions and media has to be discontinued," the Commission's policy department said in a statement.
It added that dialogue can never go with war actions, and that Seoul and Washington need to proclaim to the rest of the world that they will never engage in making threats and carry out nuclear war exercises that target the North.
"It is time to withdraw all nuclear war making capabilities from the region and officially proclaim that such devices will not be reintroduced down the line," said the Defense Commission.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry however dismissed the North’s demand as illogical.
“We again strongly urge North Korea to stop this kind of insistence that we cannot totally understand and go down the path of a wise choice,” the ministry’s spokesman, Cho Tai-young, told reporters in Seoul on Thursday.
The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of escalating military rhetoric following the participation of US nuclear-capable B-52s and B-2 stealth bombers in recent joint military drills with South Korea.
On March 30, North Korea declared that it was in a “state of war” with South Korea. Pyongyang warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict would “not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”
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