Open to negotiations, North Korea says it will never forfeit nuclear weapons


A statue of former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in the North Korean border town of Siniuju, across from China's northeastern city of Dandong.


Wang Zhao

North Korean officials reiterated Saturday that they would never agree to give up their nuclear deterrant - as long as everyone else had nuclear weapons.

The government's main newspaper said that despite being open to talks on arms reductions, denuclearization would never be on the table.

“There may be talks between us and the United States for the sake of arms reduction, but there will never be talks for denuclearization,” said the newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

“Our position is clear. Never dream of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula before denuclearization of the world is realized.”

Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Washington would talk to Pyongyang as long as it was serious about halting its nuclear program.

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The newspaper said that US talk of dialogue was "nothing but rhetoric".

Tensions over the last few weeks have seen South Korea and the United States renew calls for six-party talks over North Korea's nuclear program.

The tough talk by North Korea was prompted by more stringent UN sanctions after it tested a nuclear weapon for the third time in February.

North Korea said that it wanted an end to UN sanctions and US military drills with South Korea in the region as a precondition of talks, which ended in 2009.