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North Korea demands peace treaty from U.S., defends nuclear program

Pyongyang said Tuesday its nuclear weapons program is to be credited for the preservation of peace in Northeast Asia, but a peace treaty is necessary.

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korea said the United States does not have any justification for opposition to the proposed peace agreement, in an article published in its state newspaper on Tuesday. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun/Yonhap
North Korea said the "United States does not have any justification for opposition to the proposed peace agreement," in an article published in its state newspaper on Tuesday. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun/Yonhap

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- North Korea is calling again for a peace treaty with the United States, two weeks ahead of a planned meeting in Berlin between North Korean officials and international organizations.

In an article published Tuesday in state newspaper Rodong Sinmun, North Korea said the "United States does not have any justification for opposition to the proposed peace agreement," and "to see our offer as a fraud or a tactical ruse would be a miscalculation," South Korean outlet News 1 reported.

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"The United States should agree without delay to our reasonable offer," Pyongyang stated, adding, "But the United States, without any valid grounds, is opposed to the settlement of a peace treaty."

North Korea also blamed the United States' "hostile policy" for the crisis on the Korean peninsula, and said that it is Washington that "holds all the real power" over South Korea's military. By contrast, North Korea said its policy of d├ętente since Aug. 25 has seen a "series of positive results," and that its nuclear weapons program is to be credited for the preservation of peace in Northeast Asia.

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"We will further strengthen our deterrence to safeguard the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and Asia, until the United States makes the right decision," North Korea said.

North Korea has been requesting a peace treaty from the United States since Oct. 1, when Pyongyang's Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong urged the treaty that could prevent future wars on the Korean peninsula. The 1950-53 Korean War ended with a ceasefire agreement, and a peace treaty was never signed.

Voice of America reported Tuesday North Korea is actively seeking an answer despite its refusal to give up its nuclear weapons, and four North Korean delegates from Pyongyang's National Reunification Institute are to meet with various NGOs from the United States, China, Japan, France and Germany to discuss the peace treaty.

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The meeting is to be held Nov. 23-27 in Berlin.

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