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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 00:46 GMT 01:46 UK
N Korea rejects nuclear talks
Yongbyon nuclear reactor - aerial shot
North Korea says diplomacy over its nuclear programme has failed
North Korea has said it is not interested in further talks aimed at defusing the crisis over its nuclear programme and has no expectations of any results.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon blamed the United States for the stalemate.

He said the US was using the talks to demand North Korean disarmament while not simultaneously reassuring it there would be no military attack.

It follows a warning from North Korea that it was taking "practical measures" to strengthen its nuclear "deterrent" because diplomacy had failed.

"Since it has been proven the US is only interested in turning the six-party talks into a ground for completely disarming and killing [North Korea] by all means instead of co-existing peacefully... we have been driven not to maintain any interest in or expectation on such a talks," Mr Choe said.

The six-nation talks, involving the US, North and South Korea, China, Russia and Japan, ended inconclusively last month in Beijing.

High-level officials from the US, Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo in Tuesday to work towards arranging a new round of talks.


The nuclear standoff began nearly a year ago, when the US accused Pyongyang of processing uranium in defiance of a 1994 accord.

The US and its allies suspended oil shipments to the North in retaliation. North Korea in turn expelled UN nuclear inspectors, pulled out of the global nuclear arms-control treaty and said it would reactivate its mothballed nuclear facilities.

North Korea has stepped up its rhetoric in recent months. But analysts say Pyongyang tends to escalate its rhetoric as a negotiating tactic to try to win concessions.

The BBC's Greg Barrow at the UN says diplomats have grown used to treating public rhetoric from North Korean politicians with a degree of scepticism.

Few will think statements such as that from Mr Choe signal a complete end to negotiations over Pyongyang's nuclear programme, he says.

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