Powell: North Korea made nuclear threat

Sept. 4, 2003 at 9:13 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has confirmed North Korea threatened last week to test a nuclear weapon, the BBC reported Thursday.

But Powell said he is still hopeful there will be further talks on removing nuclear capabilities in the Korean Peninsula.

The threat reportedly came during six-party talks held in Beijing last week to deal with North Korea's nuclear program.

Russian officials denied any threat was made.

Speaking after a meeting with the South Korean foreign minister, Powell said whether such threats were interpreted as a statement or as a negotiating tactic, they would not change U.S. policy.

"The way forward is not helped by threats and truculent statements that are designed to try to frighten the international community, or to try to frighten us," he said.

Although further talks have not yet been scheduled, Powell said it remained possible there could be another round of diplomacy.

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