US allegations threaten disarmament process: North Korea

March 28th, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, March 28 (RIA Novosti) North Korea Friday warned Washington that its allegations over uranium enrichment by Pyongyang could have grave consequences for the deal on disabling its (North Korea) nuclear facilities. North Korean foreign ministry said that the government had attempted to allay US suspicions that it possessed a uranium-based atomic bomb programme and that it had passed on nuclear technology to Syria, but the US was clinging to its “incorrect” claims.

“If the United States continues delaying the resolution of the nuclear problem by demanding what does not exist, this will have a serious impact on the desired disablement of the nuclear facilities,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Washington has long suspected North Korea of pursuing a secret uranium enrichment programme and of aiding Syria in the nuclear sphere.

Talks in Geneva last fall failed to help the countries resolve the issues, with the US refusing to strike Pyongyang off its blacklist of nations sponsoring terrorism.

Pyongyang started disabling its Yongbyon nuclear plant late last year as part of a deal with the US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea in exchange for economic aid and diplomatic incentives. The communist state is also to make a full account of its nuclear facilities and arsenals.

North Korea claims it has supplied the US with the required ‘nuclear list’ in November. However, Washington has said the list was neither “complete” nor “correct”.

On Friday, North Korea test-launched a number of short-range missiles off its west coast into the Yellow Sea. Pyongyang said the launches were part of a routine military exercise. Such launches are often used by Pyongyang to make political points.

The launches came a day after 11 South Korean government officials were expelled from a joint industrial complex in the North by Pyongyang.

South Korea’s new government has recently moved to take a tougher stance in disarmament talks with the North, linking joint projects to progress in nuclear negotiations.
RIA Novosti

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