North Korea Threatens Harder Line in Nuclear Talks

Posted August 3rd, 2012 at 11:05 pm (UTC-5)
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A senior North Korean official says Pyongyang intends to harden its opposition to international pressure against its nuclear weapons program.

Choi Sun Hee, a deputy director of North Korea's Foreign Ministry, sent a rare note by e-mail to VOA's Korean Service Thursday, following three days of informal talks between North Korean diplomats and an unofficial American delegation.

Choi said she led the North Korean team at the talks in Singapore this week. She says, as a result of the talks, her government has no choice but to re-examine the nuclear issue due to Washington's “firm hostile policies” toward it. Says, unless there is a change on the U.S., “The prospect of denuclearization” by North Korea is very remote.

The note said, “If the U.S. sincerely engages in dialogue and withdraws its hostile policies – not through words but through action – to resolve the nuclear issue and improve the relations between the two sides, we will be willing to work to resolve the issues.”

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman confirmed there were unofficial talks in Singapore this week between North Korean and American groups, but said there was no U.S. government involvement in the meetings. She told VOA that as a matter of long-standing policy, “the United States is committed to the maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and has no hostile intent toward” North Korea.