North Korea has rejected a US suggestion to discuss its nuclear program and described it as an attempt to advance a UN Security Council resolution on new sanctions against the North, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers’ Party said on December 19.
“The US is trying to shift responsibility for tensions on the Korean Peninsula to us with its offensive dialogue. The move is seen as being intended to set the tone for manipulating new UN Security Council resolutions that may include a maritime blockade if we do not accept dialogue aimed at discussing the abandonment of our nuclear weapons… There is no change in our stance that we will not budge an inch in our march toward strengthening our nuclear force,” the newspaper wrote.
The statement came a week after US State Secretary Rex Tillerson announced that the US was “ready to talk anytime” with North Korea “without precondition” adding that “the diplomatic effort has to be backed up by a very credible military alternative.”
Speaking at the UNSC, Tillerson added that the US will continue pressuring North Korea as well as urging China and Russia to join the effort in order to bring North Korea to the negotiating table over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.