North Korea 'not interested' in Iran-like talks with US

Pyongyang says it will not give up its nuclear capabilities, adding programme is an "essential deterrence" against US.

    Sanctions were tightened against North Korea following its third nuclear test in 2013 [EPA]
    Sanctions were tightened against North Korea following its third nuclear test in 2013 [EPA]

    North Korea has said it has "no interest at all" in an Iran-like dialogue with the US over giving up its nuclear capabilities.

    The country's foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that its nuclear programme was an "essential deterrence" against the "provocative" US foreign policy towards North Korea.

    We do not have any interest at all on dialogue for unilaterally freezing or giving up our nukes

    North Korean Foreign Ministry

    "It is not logical to compare our situation with the Iranian nuclear agreement because we are always subjected to provocative US military hostilities, including massive joint military exercises and a grave nuclear threat," said the statement, which was carried by state media but attributed to a foreign ministry spokesman.

    "We do not have any interest at all on dialogue for unilaterally freezing or giving up our nukes."

    The US and five world powers struck an historic deal with Iran last week that will limit Iran's nuclear capabilities.

    On Monday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that will clear a path for international sanctions crippling Iran's economy to be lifted.

    North Korea is also heavily sanctioned by the US, European Union and the UN for procuring equipment related to its ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

    Sanctions were tightened following North Korea's third nuclear test in 2013.

    In May, Washington said North Korea was "not even come close" to initiating talks by taking the steps needed to rein in its nuclear weapons programme.

    Pyongyang conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and is now believed to have enough weapons-grade plutonium for at least six bombs.

    US-based experts forecast that the country could increase its nuclear arsenal to between 20 and 100 weapons by 2020.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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