North Korea refuses to abandon nuclear program

Rejecting a U.S. precondition for talks, North Korea said on Saturday that it would not give up its nuclear weapons program, two days after it set preconditions for the U.N., the U.S. and South Korea to begin dialogue.

On Thursday, Pyongyang had demanded to lift the U.N. sanctions and to end the joint U.S.-South Korea military drills before starting peace talks. It added that Seoul must stop all anti-North Korea rhetoric, referring to the cyber attack on South Korean broadcasters and banks last month which Seoul blamed on its hostile northern neighbor. Additionally, it asked the U.S. to withdraw all nuclear weapons assets from South Korea and the region.

North Korea’s state-run Rodong Sinmun termed the U.S. talk of dialogue as “nothing but rhetoric.”

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