Asia-Pacific

After US warning, North Korea says no more nuke talks

RiHungSik

After the US secretary of state stiffened the American line against North Korean nuclear activities, Pyongyang hits back by saying that six-party disarmament talks are dead.

Bristling at remarks by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about North Korea’s nuclear program, Ri Hung-Sik, director-general of the foreign ministry’s international organization bureau, dismissed the package of incentives suggested in return for North Korea’s denuclearization as “nonsense.”

The official argued that the package is a replay of the Bush administration’s policy of complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement.

North Korea left the six-party talks — involving the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan — and vowed to restart its nuclear program after the UN Security Council condemned its long-range rocket launch in April. It even moved as far to stage its second nuclear test and launch an array of short and medium-range missiles.

Clinton, who is in Thailand for a major regional security meeting, has called on the ASEAN security forum to enforce the UN sanctions imposed against the North for its nuclear and missile tests.

Her comments drew a volley of criticism from North Korean officials who described Clinton as unintelligent and a “funny lady” who is “unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community.”

“Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.

Responding to Clinton’s recent likening of Pyongyang’s missile launches to the behavior of an attention-seeking teenager, the statement said Pyongyang is protecting itself against “the US hostile policy and nuclear threat,” adding that it is not seeking “to attract anyone’s attention.”

The North Korean Foreign Ministry went further to lash out at Clinton, saying that she could make a contribution to US foreign policy “only when she has understanding of the world.”

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