Wednesday, September 16, 2009

North Korea Unwilling to Give Up Nukes, South Says

"South Korea's president said Tuesday that North Korea is showing no sign of giving up nuclear weapons, although the communist regime has made recent conciliatory gestures because U.N. sanctions against it are working.

In a joint interview with South Korea's Yonhap news agency and Japan's Kyodo news agency, conservative President Lee Myung-bak also accused the North of trying to win economic aid while holding on to atomic weapons.

He urged other members of the stalled six-nation talks with North Korea to "redouble efforts" to rid the North of nuclear weapons.

Lee's remarks came as the United States is preparing to accept North Korea's offer to hold direct talks, and they underline his deep skepticism about a neighbor that is abruptly taking a softer line following nuclear and missile tests just a few months ago.

"It appears to be true that North Korea is fairly embarrassed because of greater than expected real effects" of U.N. sanctions, Lee said, according to a published Yonhap transcript. Lee's office confirmed its contents.

"North Korea is using some conciliatory strategy toward the United States, South Korea and Japan in order to get out of this crisis, but for now, North Korea is not showing any sincerity or sign that it will give up nuclear weapons," he said."

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