U.S. Policy Increases Risk of Nuclear War: N. Korea

January 9, 2003 - 0:0
SEOUL -- The United States' policy toward North Korea is increasing the danger of a nuclear war on the peninsula, Pyongyang's official media said Wednesday.

"There is an increasing danger of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula due to the U.S. criminal policy toward the DPRK (North Korea)," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. "The U.S. is deliberately spreading a false rumor about the DPRK's `nuclear issue', in particular, in a bid to vitiate the atmosphere of inter-Korean reconciliation and unity and foster confrontation among Koreans."

The KCNA commentary was the first word from Pyongyang since the United States offered to hold talks with North Korea over their ongoing nuclear standoff, AFP reported.

"At present, the `nuclear issue' that renders the situation on the Korean peninsula strained is a product of the U.S. strategy to dominate the world whereby it is working hard to bring a holocaust of a nuclear war to the Korean nation, calling for a preemptive nuclear strike after deploying lots of nuclear weapons in and around South Korea," KCNA added.

"It is plain to everyone that if a nuclear war breaks out in Korea it will bring catastrophic disasters to the Koreans in both parts of Korea. "They should, therefore, pool their efforts and condemn and frustrate the U.S. nuclear policy for aggression and its racket of a nuclear threat so as to find a fundamental solution to the nuclear issue."

The United States said Tuesday it was willing to talk to North Korea but warned the cash-starved communist state would get no new incentives to halt its nuclear programs in a statement released at talks among senior U.S., Japanese and South Korean diplomats in Washington.

President George W. Bush's administration had previously rejected all dialogue until the North Korea state halted its two nuclear weapons programs.

"The U.S. delegation explained that the United States is willing to talk to North Korea about how it will meet its obligations to the international community," the statement said. "However the U.S. delegation stressed that the United States will not provide quid pro quos for North Korea to live up to its existing obligations."