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US terms N Korea’s threat as 'serious step in wrong direction'

world Updated: Apr 15, 2009 12:31 IST

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With North Korea threatening to withdraw from the six-party talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear programme, the US has said Pyongyang’s retaliatory measure in response to the UN Security Council’s condemnation of its rocket launch was a “serious step in wrong direction”.

“North Korea’s announced threat to withdraw from the six-party talks and restart its nuclear programme is a serious step in the wrong direction,” White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, told reporters on Tuesday.

His comments came after North Korea, reacting to the UNSC Presidential statement against its recent long-range rocket launch, threatened to quit the six-way talks on resolving its controversial nuclear issue.

Pyongyang will not find acceptance by the international community unless it verifiably abandons its pursuit of nuclear weapons,“ Gibbs said.

Observing that the six-party talks offer North Korea the best path towards that acceptance through dialogue, he said the US is prepared to work with it and its neighbours through the dialogue process to reduce tension and achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.

“We call on North Korea to cease its provocative threats, to respect the will of international community and to honor its international commitments and obligations,” Gibbs said.