N.Korea rejects US offer of talks

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Pyongyang, Dec 19 : North Korea on Tuesday rejected a recent offer by the US for talks without preconditions, calling it a ploy to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear programme.

Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington would be willing to talk to Pyongyang without the precondition of North Korea’s denuclearisation, reports Efe news.

“The US is trying to shift responsibility for tensions on the Korean Peninsula to us with its dialogue offensive,” the North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun said in a report.

However, the White House also pointed out in a statement that dialogue was not possible unless North Korea changed its position on its weapons program.

In Tuesday’s report, Pyongyang said Washington’s offer “is seen as being intended to set the tone for manipulating new UN Security Council resolutions that may include a maritime blockade if we do not accept dialogue aimed at discussing the abandonment of our nuclear weapons”.

Tillerson himself hinted at the possibility of intercepting the shipping of products with origin or destination to North Korea as punishment for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that was fired on November 29.

“There is no change in our stance that we will not budge an inch in our march toward strengthening our nuclear force,” the daily added.

North Korea claimed after launching its latest missile, its most advanced ICBM so far, that it has completed its state nuclear force.