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North Korea against idea of talks without preconditions with US

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo taken on December 11, 2017 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 12, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) attending the eighth military industry conference at the April 25 House of Culture in Pyongyang. (AFP photo)

The North Korean government is absolutely not interested in the idea of talks without preconditions proposed by the US authorities, saying the final aim of any such initiative would be for North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

An editorial published on Tuesday on North Korea’s state newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Pyongyang was aware of Washington’s intention in proposing talks, and it was not an issue whether such initiative would come with or without preconditions.

“The question is what the US is aimed at,” said the editorial in a clear response to a recent proposal by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said Washington was ready to launch talks with Pyongyang without imposing conditions in the beginning.

“Let’s just meet. And we can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about,” Tillerson had said on December 12, adding, “But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face. It’s not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program.”

Tillerson revised his comments after the White House insisted that US policy in dealing with North Korea’s weapons program had not changed. The US has led international efforts to pile unprecedented economic pressures on North Korea over the country’s recent testing of missiles and nuclear bombs.

North Korea, however, accuses the US and its allies of seeking a nuclear confrontation in the region, citing repeated threats by US President Donald Trump.

Rodong Sinmun said the White House was pursuing a duplicitous policy in dealing with the country’s weapons program.

“Saying our nation is to be ‘utterly destroyed’ on the one hand, whilst saying ‘talk without precondition’ on the other hand is the Trump administration’s execution of the maximum pressure and interruption policy aimed at leading the North to the table for denuclearization,” said the newspaper.

The US authorities reiterated again that they would use force if necessary to compel Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.

White House National Security Advisor HR McMaster gives a key note speech in front of the Jamestown Foundation on December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Trump's national security adviser General HR McMaster said Monday that Washington was ready to forcefully “denuclearize North Korea.”

"We're not committed to a peaceful resolution - we're committed to a resolution,” McMaster said, adding, “We want the resolution to be peaceful, but as the President said, all options are on the table. We have to be prepared, if necessary, to compel the denuclearization of North Korea without the cooperation of that regime.”

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