Sunday, May 10, 2009

DPRK Calls US Policy 'Unchanged' Under Obama

May 9, 2009

North Korea Calls U.S. Policy ‘Unchanged’ Under Obama

New York Times

SEOUL, South Korea — One day after an American diplomat offered new talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, the North said Friday that it had become useless to talk with the United States, adding that “unchanged” American hostility has caused the country to resume and bolster its nuclear efforts.

“The study of the policy pursued by the Obama administration for the past 100 days since its emergence made it clear that the U.S. hostile policy toward the D.P.R.K. remains unchanged,” an unnamed spokesman of the North Korean Foreign Ministry said, using the initials for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In comments carried by the North’s official news agency, KCNA, the spokesman also said: “There is nothing to be gained by sitting down together with a party that continues to view us with hostility.”

The rebuff from North Korea came as Stephen W. Bosworth, the United States special envoy, began a trip to Northeast Asia with a fresh offer of dialogue. The North’s vow to “bolster its nuclear deterrent” came just hours before Mr. Bosworth was due to arrive in Seoul.

“The United States reiterates its desire to engage both multilaterally and bilaterally with North Korea,” Mr. Bosworth told reporters after holding talks with senior Chinese officials on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. “We believe very strongly that the solution to the tensions and problems of the area now lies in dialogue and negotiation.”

North Korea recently reversed its nuclear disarmament agreements with Washington, kicking out United Nations nuclear monitors and threatening to restart its plutonium-making plant and test a nuclear device.

Washington led United Nations efforts to tighten sanctions against the North after its launching of a long-range rocket on April 5. And while the Obama administration said it was willing to talk with North Korea, it has so far offered no new incentives to draw Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.

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