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US shrugs off criticism on DPRK policy
Updated: 2005-05-14 11:31

The White House shrugged off China's veiled criticism of US policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, noting that the most important issue was to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.

"All our partners, including China, have made it clear that they're opposed to North Korea developing nuclear weapons. They all want to see a nuclear-free peninsula," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

"We're all saying to North Korea that they need to come back to the six-party talks so that we can talk about how to move forward on the proposal that was outlined at the last round of talks," he said.

The spokesman added that "there are no preconditions" for coming back to the talks.

On Tuesday, Beijing indirectly rebuked US President George W. Bush for referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as a "tyrant" who starved his people.

"We think that any party in the six-party talks should take measures in word and action that are favorable to the resumption of the six-party talks," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular briefing in response to a question about Bush's remarks.

North Korea has refused since the fall to take part in a fourth round of the six-party talks, which also involve China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

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