N. Korea says it continue to pursue nuclear weaponsUpdated: 2013-05-27 AM 6:29:08 (KST)
continued to emphasize its ambition to pursue economic growth and nuclear weapons together in an official statement released on Saturday.
This comes after North Korean special envoy Choe Ryong-hae's return from his recent trip to China during which he mentioned that Pyongyang is willing to engage in dialogue,.. including the long-suspended six-party talks.
North Korea said that it will continue its nuclear development program as a means to protect its independence against threats from the United States raising questions about Pyongyang's sincerity on returning to the negotiating table.
"The key agenda of any kind of talks including the six-party talks is the denuclearization of North Korea. It would be hard for China to continue to support North Korea unless it gives up its nuclear ambitions."
North Korea also slammed South Korean President Park Geun-hye, using the president's name for the first time.
It called President Park a "confrontation maniac" as she denounced North Korea's policy of pursuing economic growth and nuclear weapons.
"The current South Korean administration is picking a fight with us over our policy but this is just showing her ignorance, and it's a disgrace to herself."
President Park said Thursday that the North's policy will never succeed and that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un is gambling by escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.
While South Korean government officials called Pyongyang's remarks regrettable, as the North has backtracked from its recent move towards dialogue, experts say that the fresh rhetoric should be taken seriously.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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