SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - North Korea will not return to the six-party talks unless issues with the United States are resolved, a high level North Korean diplomat said on Saturday (Oct 21).
According to reports citing participants of the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference, North Korean Foreign Ministry's director-general of North America Affairs Choi Sun Hee said that Pyongyang will not return to six-party talks, and that the country will negotiate only with the US.
"Suggestions from various countries are welcome, but as the US is the country that is trying to pressure and to bring about the collapse of North Korea, the issue must be resolved with the US," Ms Choi was quoted as saying.
Ms Choi was responding to a question about Pyongyang's stance on resuming the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme in the session on easing tension on the Korean Peninsula.
According to reports, Ms Choi also said that Pyongyang considers the six-party talks to be invalid, and that nuclear armament was a "strategic decision" for North Korea.
"The only way to defend sovereignty is nuclear armament, and we (North Korea) will not follow in the footsteps of Iraq and Libya," Ms Choi said."Nuclear armament is critical in facing the US policy of hostility, and the policy to crushing (North Korea) through sanctions."
Ms Choi also claimed that Pyongyang will strengthen its nuclear weapons programme unless the US "makes the right choice of coexisting with us peacefully", and that North Korea is unfazed by US President Donald Trump's "crazy statements" hinting at possible military actions.
Also on Saturday, North Korea's state media reported that Pyongyang's UN representative sent a letter to the UN Security Council urging it to discuss South Korea-US joint naval drills.
"The joint military drills against the republic (North Korea) that began during the Cold War have become bigger and more aggressive after the Cold War," North Korea's Korean Central News Agency quoted the letter allegedly sent last Friday.
"According to Article 34 and 35 of the UN Charter, we demand that the UN Security Council discuss the US's joint military exercise as an urgent issue."
Article 34 of the UN Charter states that the UN Security Council "may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute".
Article 35 states that any UN member can bring a situation referred to in Article 34 to the attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly.
The KCNA also claimed that should Pyongyang's demands be refused, the UN Security Council would be proving that it has "forsaken its duties and the international society's trust, and proving that it has become a political tool of a country".
The military exercise North Korea referred to is the five-day South Korea-US naval drill conducted off the country's east and west coasts. The exercise involved some 40 vessels from South Korea and US navies, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.