North Korea has no further interest in negotiations with United States

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Xinhua quoted an unnamed North Korean spokesman as stating that "The DPRK [North Korean government] has no justification to take bilateral talks... on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula with the United States now." North Korea has demanded that the United States end its perceived hostile policy toward North Korea before talks can begin again.

Last week, North Korea claimed to have successfully developed nuclear weapons, and pushed for two-party talks with the US. The US and China have pushed for multiple party talks. Though North Korea has not provided any substantial proof for its weapons claims—and has not performed the ceremonious "first test" usually required by declared nuclear powers to demonstrate their capability—US intelligence agencies believe that North Korea may have produced anywhere from two or three such weapons (CIA's guess) upwards to fifteen (Defense Intelligence Agency's guess). The estimates were made on the basis of the amount of plutonium the North Koreans would have been able to recover from their nuclear reactors at Yongbyon.