- (AFP) - North Korea threatened to take unspecified
unless the United States changed its "hostile" policy toward
the communist state.
- A foreign ministry spokesman said Washington was now
"unreasonably" demanding North Korea allow a foreign inspection
of its suspected weapons of mass destruction after linking the state with
- "All facts indicate that the prospect of the
settlement of the issue has, in fact, become gloomy," the spokesman
was quoted as saying by the North's official Korean Central News
- "Under this situation the DPRK (North Korea) cannot
sit idle but is left with no option but to take necessary
he said, without specifying the measures.
- He said "some forces in the United States"
were only paying "lip-service" to a resumption of dialogue with
North Korea without preconditions -- an offer made by President George
W. Bush in June.
- North Korea has yet to respond to the offer, which was
submitted after a review of US policy toward the hermit nation ordered
- But US Ambassador to South Korea Thomas C. Hubbard
the offer of dialogue with no strings attached.
- "We continue to await a positive response to this
open invitation," he said at a meeting with the Korean-American
- Bush this week called on North Korea to permit foreign
inspectors to verify that it is not producing weapons of mass destruction,
and warned Pyongyang to halt foreign missile sales.
- Washington still lists North Korea as a nation sponsoring
terrorism, another thorn in the side of relations.
- "The DPRK has nothing to do with terrorism and has
made every possible effort to combat it," the foreign ministry
- North Korea condemned the September 11 terror attacks
on the United States but has said it opposes the US-led retaliation in
- "It is quite nonsensical for the US to talk about
cooperation with the DPRK in its anti-terrorism operation after labeling
the DPRK as a 'sponsor of terrorism'," the spokesman said.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has said Pyongyang would
immediately normalize ties with Washington should the United States lift
North Korea from its blacklist of states backing terrorism.
- The spokesman criticized the US demand for an inspection
of the suspected weapons of mass destruction while neglecting Pyongyang's
demands for compensation over delays in the building of light-water
- Much-delayed construction began in earnest only in
on two nuclear power reactors in North Korea that will produce less
plutonium than the communist state's old reactors, which were closed under
a 1994 accord.
- The new reactors were originally to be built by 2003
but delays, including the withdrawal of half the North Korean workers over
a wage dispute, have pushed back the finish until at least 2008.
- South Korean Defense Minister Kim Dong-Shin meanwhile
ruled out a US military strike on North Korea despite Washington's harder
stance against the Stalinist country.
- "The United States will not try to stage an
war against North Korea," Kim told a parliamentary committee late
Wednesday, citing close policy consultations between the allies.
- Yonhap news agency in Seoul, the official monitor of
North Korean news media, said the protests reflected Pyongyang's
over its lack of progress with the US in attempts to come out of decades
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