S. Korea: N. Korea can't be nuclear nation

May 31, 2012 at 10:33 AM
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SEOUL, May 31 (UPI) -- North Korea can't declare itself a nuclear state because it is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, South Korean officials said Thursday.

An official Web site run by North Korea and monitored by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, carried the text of the reclusive nation's revised constitution that included the phrase "a nuclear-armed state."

"At first, nuclear-weapon state status is in line with the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but North Korea itself has admitted that it is not a member of the NPT," South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Byung-jae said.

North Korea abandoned the NPT in early 2003.

Cho called on North Korea to "implement its commitments and give up all nuclear weapons programs" under a 2005 agreement in which North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear programs in return for security guarantees and economic assistance from five other nations participating in the six-party talks. Pyongyang boycotted follow-up negotiations.

The revised constitution said North Korea's late leader, Kim Jong Il, "has turned our fatherland into an invincible state of political ideology, a nuclear-armed state and an indomitable military power, paving the ground for the construction of a strong and prosperous nation," Yonhap reported.

The revision was made by lawmakers in April.

Analysts in Seoul said the constitutional proclamation of a "nuclear-armed state" could cloud prospects of resuming the long-stalled six-party talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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