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AP Newsbreak: North Korea slams US, Japan, South Korea as greatest threats

AP Newsbreak: North Korea slams US, Japan, South Korea as greatest threats

Reclusive North Korea has accused the U.S., Japan and South Korea of being Asia's biggest security threats and pledged to give up its nuclear weapons if they dismantle missiles aimed at it, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.
North Korea painted a bleak picture of Asia's security in the defense paper it presented for the first time to the ASEAN Regional Forum, but welcomed six-way talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula as a crucial first step toward peace.
"The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is in essence not the question of unilateral disbandment of the (North Korean) nuclear program only," said the report, which was submitted to the forum but not made public. The AP saw it Thursday.
It said the denuclearization also depended on the removal "of more than one thousand nuclear weapons deployed in and around North Korea under the U.S. nuclear umbrella and termination of the U.S. hostile policy toward (North Korea) and its nuclear threat as well."
Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator at the North Korean disarmament talks, arrived in Manila late Thursday, but said he has no plans to meet the North Koreans on the sidelines of the forum.
North Korea said it was forced to develop nuclear weapons _ and tested one last year _ because of Washington's threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike, a plan it said was backed by Japan and South Korea.
"The DPRK had no other option but to possess nukes," the report said, using the abbreviation of the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"The DPRK will automatically not be in need of even a single nuclear weapon when the time comes when the normalization of DPRK-U.S. relations and confidence building is made," it said.
North Korea said it was important to enforce a February agreement to shut down its nuclear reactor "in good faith and refrain from acts of hindering the implementation," but did not state why it failed to meet a deadline about a month ago.
It has publicly said it will not shut down the Yongbyon reactor until it gets US$25 million (


Updated : 2021-10-23 13:46 GMT+08:00