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US rejects DPRK's call for resumption of six-party talks

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-22 09:20

WASHINGTON -- The United States on Wednesday dismissed an unconditional resumption of the six-party talks suggested by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its nuclear program, reiterating a call for Pyongyang to abide by its past commitments.

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki was responding to a proposal made on Monday by DPRK's chief nuclear negotiator Ri Yong Ho following a two-day unofficial meeting with former US special representative for DPRK policy Stephen Bosworth in Singapore.

"I think the important point here is that the view of the United States, as well as our six-party partners, is that the DPRK would need to abide by their international obligations, including the 2005 joint statement," Psaki told reporters at a daily news briefing.

"The ball has long been in their court, but we certainly reject new proposals that don't have any backing," she added.

While in Singapore, Ri once again called on Washington to end its large-scale war games with the Republic of Korea, blaming them for the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Psaki had criticized Pyongyang's past offer to suspend future nuclear tests for Washington's agreement to halt joint military exercises with the Republic of Korea this year, calling the proposal "an implicit threat."

Asked what pre-conditions the DPRK was setting for its return to the six-party talks, Ri said "For the first time, we had proposed the meeting without any preconditions."

The six-party talks, which also involve Russia, China and Japan, were initiated in Beijing in August 2003 but have been stalled since December 2008. The DPRK dropped out of the talks in April 2009.

In the 2005 joint statement, Pyongyang committed itself to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning at an early date to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, while Washington affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons.

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