North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has told a Chinese envoy his country has no immediate plans to conduct another nuclear test but that US policy toward Pyongyang will determine the future.
Kim made the remarks to Chinese envoy Tang Jiaxuan during talks last week in Pyongyang to discuss the North's first-ever nuclear test on October 9, Kyodo News agency reported on Sunday from Beijing, citing unnamed officials familiar with the discussions.
Kim told Tang that while there is no plan to hold a second nuclear test for the moment, North Korea would have to respond if the United States continued to pressure the country. Officials at China's Foreign Ministry in Beijing had no immediate comment.
Japanese Foreign Ministry officials were not available. In Seoul, South Korean nuclear envoy Chun Yung-woo said he had no information on whether North Korea would conduct a second nuclear test, and that there was no indication the North was interested in resuming disarmament talks.
Kim reiterated that US financial sanctions are an obstacle to the six-way talks on the North's nuclear program and that Pyongyang could return to the talks stalled since last November if the sanctions are lifted.
Washington says the financial restrictions, imposed in September 2005, are unrelated to the six-party negotiations. US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill was in Hong Kong on Sunday for talks on North Korean bank accounts in neighboring Macau that were frozen under the US restrictions, according to a spokesman for the US Consulate General.