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'US sanctions failing to stop nuke development'

North Korea has said US financial sanctions have not foiled its development of nuclear weapons.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 09:54 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

North Korea has said US financial sanctions have not foiled its development of nuclear weapons, as Pyongyang has built atomic bombs with its own technology and resources.

In an interview carried late on Tuesday by state media, North Korea's foreign ministry spokesman repeatedly denied US claims that the Stalinist state was counterfeiting dollars to finance its nuclear ambitions.

"We manufactured nuclear weapons with our own technology, funds and raw materials from A to Z," the unnamed spokesman told the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"As we are not dependent on the US at all in the economic and financial fields, no US sanctions would work on us."

The spokesman said US sanctions were "nothing but a fabrication solely intended to tarnish the image of the DPRK (North Korea) and do harm to it."

He then reiterated that Pyongyang would join international efforts to counter money laundering and other illegal activities.

The United States launched a crackdown on North Korea's alleged illegal financial activities last year.

In September, the US Treasury halted all dealings with a Macau-based bank accused of acting as a willing front for North Korean money laundering. It also blacklisted eight North Korean companies in connection with the bank.

The United States believes the bank helped Pyongyang launder earnings from counterfeiting US bank notes, trafficking narcotics, smuggling contraband cigarettes and other illegal enterprises.

In response, North Korea has boycotted six-way talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons programme.

The talks -- which group the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan -- have stalled since they ended in a stalemate in November.

First Published: Mar 01, 2006 09:54 IST