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US not to accept DPRK as nuke country

THE United States will not accept the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a nuclear-armed country, State Department spokeswoman Megan Mattson said yesterday.

"We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-weapons state," Mattson told reporters hours after Pyongyang announced it had reactivated facilities to harvest plutonium.

"The United States remains committed to the six-party goal of the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner through the six-party talks," the spokeswoman said.

The United States will "seek full implementation of the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement under which North Korea committed to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return, at an early date, to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards," she added.

Also yesterday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated in Baghdad, Iraq that the United States remains hoping to continue talks with the DPRK over its nuclear issues.

The six-party talks, involving the DPRK, the United States, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia, were first held in Beijing, China in August 2003, and have made tangible progress on the issue in the following years.

The DPRK destroyed the cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in June 2008, marking a symbolic step forward toward the goal of denuclearization.


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