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North Korea: We Will Talk With U.S. But Not South Korea

Posted July. 14, 2007 04:44,   


North Korea suggested a DPRK-U.S. military meeting to discuss issues related to establishing peace on the Korean peninsula and a security guarantee for the North yesterday. The North excluded the South from this suggestion.

In a press conference with Lee Chan Bok, a lieutenant general who is in charge of the North Korean People’s Army at the Panmunjeom area, said, “We should meet and talk about peace and security guarantee issues at a venue and time the two parties (North Korea and the U.S.) agree on.

It remains to be seen what the true intentions of the North are, as its suggestion came when the North’s compliance with the 2.13 agreement, including the dismantlement of its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon is near, and the six-party talks between senior negotiators are due to be held on July 18.

Lee said in a press conference, “Our nuclear issue is intricately linked with that of the U.S. When our people are left with no option but to live under the constant U.S. nuclear threat, the U.S. mentioning the denuclearization and nuclear threat posed by us is ludicrous.”

He added, “If the U.S. continues to pressure us under the false pretense of the nuclear issue, and to beef up military power in the South, we have no choice but to respond to them thoroughly in order to defend ourselves. When that happens, the 2.13 agreement or future six-party talks will disappear into thin air.”

Lee Jae-jeong, the minister of Unification, said, “We need to find out why the North asked to hold the talks without us. Issues related to the easing of military tensions and establishing peace on the Korean peninsula need to be brought up through inter-Korean dialogues.” He also said, “We need to take a closer look at possible ties between discussing peace on the peninsula on the side of the six-party talks suggested by the North and inter-Korean military meetings.”