SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- North Korean media on Tuesday said it has no interest in holding talks "without preconditions" with Washington, as suggested by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson said last week that the U.S. is ready to sit down with North Korea "any time the North would like to talk," before he later clarified that the regime should earn its way back to negotiations.
The North's Rodong Simun daily, issued by the ruling Workers' Party, criticized the move in a commentary, saying that Washington's offer of dialogue "goes back and forth without consistency."
"Whether the offer comes with or without conditions, what the U.S. wants is the abandonment of our nuclear program," the commentary said, asserting that the North's stance on the issue has not changed at all.
"Our nuclear force cannot be used as a bargaining tool," it said.
Pyongyang has maintained that it will not give up its nuclear and missile ambition, demanding that Washington accepts it as a nuclear power.
The paper accused the U.S. of attempting to frame the North for the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap reported.
"This can only be seen as an attempt to lay the groundwork to muster support for U.N. Security Council resolutions that contain extreme sanctions such as a naval blockade, provided that we do not agree on holding dialogue to discuss abandoning our nuclear program," it said.