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DPRK to restart nuke, boycott talks

THE Democratic People's Republiof Korea vowed yesterday to restart its nuclear reactor and to boycott international disarmament talks for good in retaliation for the UN Security Council's condemnation of its rocket launch.

North Korea's swift denunciation of the Security Council's "hostile" move came hours after the council condemned the April 5 launch as a violation of UN resolutions and demanded enforcement of existing sanctions against the DPRK.

The UN statement, issued eight days after the launch, was weaker than the resolution Japan and the United States had pursued but still drew an angry response from Pyongyang, which called it "unjust" and a violation of international law.

North Korea says it sent a communications satellite into space as part of a peaceful bid to develop its space program. The US and others call the launch an illicit test of the technology used to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The council on Monday demanded an end to the rocket launches and said it will expand sanctions against North Korea.

It also called for quick resumption of disarmament talks.

US President Barack Obama called the statement a "clear and united message" that North Korea's action was unlawful and would result in real consequences, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

North Korea, following through on earlier threats to withdraw from international disarmament talks if the council so much as criticized the launch, said yesterday it would boycott the six-party talks on the nuclear program.

Since 2003, envoys from six nations - the DPRK and the Repubic of Korea, the US, China, Russia and Japan - have been meeting in Beijing for sporadic negotiations on getting Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program in exchange for aid and other concessions.

Under a 2007 six-party deal, North Korea agreed to disable its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon north of Pyongyang - a key step toward dismantlement - in return for 1 million tons of fuel oil and other concessions.

Yesterday, the DPRK said it would restart the nuclear facilities.

Russia' Foreign Ministry said North Korea's decision "prompts regrets."


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