Korea

North Korea ‘ready’ to resume talks on nuclear program

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North Korea’s Ambassador to the UN, So Se Pyong, says his country is ready to resume six-party talks on its nuclear program.

“For the six-party talks we are ready, and as far as I think, China and Russia… are ready,” So said in an interview with Reuters.

The negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear program involved Russia, China, Japan, the US and South Korea and were held until 2008, when they broke down. Attempts to resume them have failed so far.

Pyongyang tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009. It has been the subject of UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests.

So said, however, that the US does not “like that kind of talks right now,” adding “That’s why… countries like South Korea [and] Japan … are [also] not ready for those talks.”

He also said Pyongyang was not planning a nuclear or a missile test.

The senior North Korean diplomat also said that his country must be able to maintain its readiness in the face of military exercises that “are against” the country, in an apparent reference to joint US-South Korean drills.

So also suggested that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program acted as a deterrent force against the US.

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong had earlier told the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly that the United States’ hostile policy has pressured Pyongyang to pursue its nuclear program.

During his Reuters interview, So also said reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was ill were “fabricated rumors.”

This is while the North Korean state television acknowledged on Thursday that Kim is suffering from “discomfort.” The North Korean leader has reportedly not been seen at a public event since September 3.

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