N.Korea raises stakes on nuclear deal
Updated: 2005-09-21 07:00
BEIJING - North Korea said it would not dismantle its nuclear weapons until the United States delivered light-water reactors, casting doubt on an agreement heralded as a breakthrough for peace. AFP reported.
North Korea had pledged Monday at six-nation talks in Beijing to give up its atomic weapons in return for energy and security guarantees. But it warned Tuesday that the offer was conditional on US concessions.
Front pages of leading newspapers in South Korea show reports of the six-way talks on North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea said it would not dismantle its nuclear weapons until the United States delivered light-water reactors, casting doubt on an agreement heralded as a breakthrough for peace. [AFP]
"They are telling us to give up everything, but there is nothing we should give up first," North Korea's envoy to the talks Kim Gye-gwan told reporters at Beijing airport before leaving for Pyongyang.
"The United States can prove a change to its hostile policy against the DPRK (North Korea) by providing light-water reactors."
His comments echoed an earlier statement by North Korea's foreign ministry, which said the United States "should not even dream" it would dismantle its nuclear arsenal until Washington had provided the reactors.
US officials on Tuesday downplayed the North's vow to keep its nuclear weapons as a negotiating tactic that left intact Monday's accord.
"I think we will not get hung up on this statement," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a news conference.