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DPRK rules out talks with US

Updated: 2015-02-05 07:42
By Agencies in Seoul (China Daily)

Position taken in response to 'collapse' remark by Obama

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea ruled out resuming dialogue with the United States on Wednesday, and vowed to respond to any US aggression with nuclear strikes and cyber warfare.

The statement from the country's National Defense Commission, came after reported moves by Washington and Pyongyang to revive the long-stalled Six-Party Talks on denuclearization.

It also preceded the start in early March of annual joint military exercises between the US and the Republic of Korea that always presage a rise in military tensions and rhetoric on the divided peninsula.

The statement was an apparent reaction to US President Barack Obama's remark that the DPRK government will eventually collapse, and calling the country the "most cut off nation on Earth".

It called the Obama administration a mudslinging "cesspool" and said his comments amounted to a threat to engineer the government's downfall.

"Since the gangster-like US imperialists are blaring that they will 'bring down' the DPRK, ... the army and people of the DPRK cannot but officially notify the Obama administration ... that the DPRK has neither need nor willingness to sit at negotiating table with the US any longer," the NDC said.

The statement, carried by the DPRK official KCNA news agency, said Pyongyang will respond to any US military aggression in kind - whether with conventional, nuclear or cyber forces.

Obama slapped sanctions on the DPRK last month following the hacking of Hollywood studio Sony Pictures' computer network.

US officials blamed the attack on Pyongyang, and described it as the most damaging commercial hack in US history.

Annual military drills

Pyongyang has officially denied any involvement.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that US and DPRK nuclear envoys had been secretly discussing the idea of "talks about talks", but had been unable to agree on practical arrangements.

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the US State Department said the US had not changed its position of requiring the DPRK to take tangible steps toward denuclearization before any meaningful dialogue can be held.

Last month, Pyongyang offered to suspend future nuclear tests temporarily if Washington cancels its annual military drills with Seoul.

The proposal was formally rejected by the US as an "implicit threat".

Hong Hyun-ik, a researcher at the Sejong Institute think tank in Seoul, said neither Pyongyang nor Washington appeared particularly sincere about the idea of dialogue.

The US needs a "troublemaking" Pyongyang to rally support from its allies, he said.

At the same time, with its economy in better shape than the past, the DPRK feels "no sense of urgency" about resuming talks, he said.

AFP-Reuters

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