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North Korea blames U.S. on nuclear issue

Dec. 9, 2009 at 7:32 AM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- North Korea said Wednesday its nuclear issue has nothing to do with South Korea as it resulted from the hostile policy of the United States.

The issue is a "totally bilateral" one between North Korea and the United States which "would be solved spontaneously" after the United States drops its anti-North Korea policy, eradicates the military threat against Pyongyang and stops its nuclear war provocation, according to the Communist country's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

The statement is timed to the arrival in Pyongyang Tuesday of U.S. special envoy Stephen Bosworth to convince his hosts to return to the six-nation talks on the North's nuclear disarmament. The talks among the United States, China, Russia, the two Koreans and Japan remain stalled after Pyongyang pulled out following U.N. condemnation of the North's nuclear and missile tests earlier this year and the tightening of sanctions.

Rodong Sinmun attacked South Korea for saying a solution to the nuclear issue is a prerequisite for improvement in inter-Korean relations. It warned South Korea would "pay for its policy."

Bosworth's visit marks the first bilateral meeting between North Korea and the United States since President Barack Obama took office.

North Korea, which shut down its Yongbyon nuclear facilities in 2007, began reprocessing plutonium at the reactor there after quitting the six-nation talks. Officially, the United States has said Bosworth's trip is only designed to bring the North back to the six-party format.

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