Thu, May 08, 2003 - Page 5 News List

N Korea threatened to export nukes: newspaper

REUTERS , WASHINGTON

North Korea threatened during talks in Beijing to export nuclear arms and to add to its arsenal, The Washington Times reported on Wednesday.

Citing US officials familiar with the talks, the newspaper's report said North Korea's negotiator, Li Gun, made the threat during a side meeting with US. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly.

Li, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official, told Kelly that Pyongyang will "export nuclear weapons, add to its current arsenal or test a nuclear device," one administration official told the paper.

"This was clearly a threat," said another official described as being familiar with reports of the three-way talks.

The paper reported that the North Koreans also said that they had nearly finished reprocessing thousands of spent fuel rods that can be used to make atomic bombs.

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