US cannot accept "partial solution" to nuclear crisis
The United States said it would not settle for any piecemeal resolution to the nuclear crisis gripping the Korean peninsula, calling for the dismantlement of "all" North Korean atomic programs.
"We cannot accept a partial solution that does not deal with the entirety of the problem, allowing North Korea to threaten others continually with a revival of its nuclear program," said Christopher Hill, US President George W. Bush's chief negotiator to six-party talks aimed at ending the crisis.
DPRK is North Korea's official name -- the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Hill is the US leader to the negotiations among North Korea, South Korea, US, Japan, Russia and host China designed to woo North Korea to give up its nuclear arms in return for aid and security guarantees.
North Korea has refused to participate in the talks after attending three rounds, citing US "hostility." It also rejected a US-led aid-for-disarmament plan.
Under the plan, North Korea would be given, among other rewards, multilateral security guarantees and energy aid by its neighbors if it agrees to end its nuclear weapons program.
Hill, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, stressed that Washington would not reward North Korea for coming into compliance with any "past obligations."
"It has obligations. It was rewarded for those obligations. It can't then get out of compliance and then come back and expect to be paid twice for the same obligations," he said.
The US-North Korea nuclear standoff dates back to the last decade when Pyongyang agreed in 1994 to freeze its nuclear program in return for the construction of safe nuclear reactors for the impoverished country.
The pact fell through in October 2002 when Washington said North Korea, while freezing its plutonium-based program, had admitted secretly using a different route to nuclear weapons, helped by Pakistan.
The United States charged that North Korea began seeking nuclear weapons fuel through uranium enrichment while the ink was still wet on the 1994 accord.
Hill questioned North Korea's seriousness in wanting to end its nuclear weapons program.
"The North has cited a variety of pretexts for refusing to rejoin the talks, even as it restates its commitment to the six-party process and the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula," he said.
"That casts increasing doubts on how serious the DPRK really is about ending its nuclear ambitions," he said.
"Frankly, we don't at this point know the answers," he said but added that "certainly, the developments we have seen on the part of the North Koreans have not been encouraging."
Hill cited Pyongyang's failure to abide by its commitment to another round of the six-party talks as well as its persistent boasts of its nuclear weapons capability.
Just last week, Pyongyang announced it had enough nuclear weapons to defend itself against an attack by the United States and was building more.