Report: North Korea to quit nuclear talks

A North Korean soldier looks into South Korea from the demilitarized zone on April 9.
North Korea’s foreign ministry said the country will quit talks aimed at disarming the country of nuclear weapons and strengthen nuclear capabilities, state-run media reported Tuesday.

The statement, issued via North Korean state-run media KCNA, listed reasons that the country will pull out of the so-called six-party talks. “Now that the six-party talks have turned into a platform for infringing upon the sovereignty of the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and seeking to force the DPRK to disarm itself and bring down the system in it, the DPRK will never participate in the talks any longer, nor it will be bound to any agreement of the six-party talks,” KCNA said. The statement also defended North Korea’s recent launch of a rocket and blasted a U.N. Security Council declaration that condemned the launch. The Security Council unanimously adopted the declaration on Monday. It includes a statement by the Security Council president, demanding that North Korea make no more launches. North Korea’s foreign ministry also said Tuesday that the country plans to strengthen nuclear capabilities.

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“The DPRK will bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense in every way,” the statement said. “It will take the measure for restoring to their original state the nuclear facilities which had been disabled under the agreement of the six-party talks and putting their operation on a normal track.” The six-party talks — involving China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States — have been aimed at persuading North Korea to scrap its nuclear program.