Kerry: U.S. open to discuss non-aggression deal with N. Korea
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has extended a carrot to North Korea, saying Washington is prepared to change its relationship from confrontation to cooperation.
At a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Kerry said the U.S. is seeking a peaceful relationship with the North, not a regime change, and that it is prepared to sign a non-aggression agreement if North Korea decides to denuclearize.
The treaty would have both nations agree to avoid war and to resolve disputes through negotiations.
In 2003, Pyongyang told Washington it would eventually eliminate its nuclear program if the two sides were to sign a non-aggression treaty.
Kerry's eye-opening offer comes amid fresh signs that North Korea may be actively working on its nuclear program.
Former U.S. nuclear negotiator Robert Einhorn said sanctions will not be enough to stop the regime from developing nuclear weapons.
"And with the support that North Korea gets from its large, important neighbor, it's very hard for sanctions to be imposed in a decisive way. At the end of the day, if North Korean behavior is to be changed, it will require strong cooperation of China."
Secretary Kerry also noted that the North has behaved outside the standards of the rule of law and reiterated that Washington will not be pulled into another round of negotiations that go around in a circle and buy the North more time to develop its nuclear program.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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