'No concessions for N Korea to return to talks'
The United States will not consider any concessions to North Korea to resume disarmament talks in the wake of its missile launches.india Updated: Jul 08, 2006 12:54 IST
The United States will not consider any concessions to North Korea to resume disarmament talks in the wake of its missile launches, the chief US negotiator said on Saturday.
North Korea has insisted it will only return to six-nation talks on ending its nuclear and missile programmes if the United States lifts a set of financial sanctions.
"To be very frank, I think this is not a time for so-called gestures of that kind," US envoy Christopher Hill told reporters in Seoul on a regional tour to build pressure on North Korea.
"We have a country that has fired off missiles in a truly reckless way that affects regional tranquillity and indeed affects regional security," he said.
North Korea cited the sanctions as proof of US hostility in explaining why it test-fired seven missiles on Wednesday, including a long-range Taepodong-2 which crashed shortly after launch.
North Korea agreed in September in general terms to end its nuclear program in return for aid and security guarantees.
But it shunned the talks shortly afterward to protest sanctions on a bank in the Chinese territory of Macau accused of money-laundering and counterfeiting on behalf of the regime.
"Removing the freeze on Macau funds is the minimum threshold to resumption of talks," Han Song-Ryol, the North's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told South Korea's Yonhap news agency after the missile tests.
Asked about the remarks, Hill said the North, known officially as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, should return to talks without conditions.
"The DPRK knows what they need to do. They need to come to the six-party process, they need to sit down in those talks and began to implement the measures they have agreed to implement back in September," Hill said.
"For our part, we are prepared to implement the full, every word of that agreement in September," he said.