N. Korea rules out nuclear deal ahead of six-party talks

BEIJING • North Korea's nuclear weapons are "not a plaything" and their future is not up for negotiation, said Pyongyang's ambassador to China, ahead of a visit by a United States envoy.

Mr Ji Jae Ryong's comments came after world powers struck a deal with Iran on July 14 to curb its nuclear capabilities, in return for the lifting of sanctions.

In a rare press conference in Beijing yesterday, Mr Ji said Pyongyang's nuclear capability was "not a plaything to be put on the negotiating table as it is the essential means to protect sovereignty and vital rights from the US nuclear threat and hostile policy".

"We have the power to cope with any kind of war methods of the US imperialists, and the strong power to restrain the provocative nuclear war acts of the US," he added.

Mr Sydney Seiler, the US envoy to the six-party talks - a forum aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programme - was due in Beijing yesterday. He said on Monday in Seoul that the Iran deal demonstrated the US' openness in de-nuclearisation talks.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'N. Korea rules out nuclear deal ahead of six-party talks'. Print Edition | Subscribe