North Korea has rejected US President George W. Bush's proposal to give it multi-nation security assurances if it agrees to scrap its nuclear weapons program, calling the offer laughable and "not worth considering."
Earlier this week, Bush put forward a plan in which the US and four other nations would give North Korea written assurances it won't be attacked if it promises to dismantle its nuclear program.
North Korea, in a radio broadcast late Tuesday, reiterated that it would settle for nothing less than a formal nonaggression treaty that would legally bind the US not to launch a pre-emptive strike against it. Bush ruled out such a treaty, and instead hopes to craft a deal that would reassure North Korea about its security and bring it back to negotiations -- but without ruling out possible US military options when things went sour.
"It is a laughing matter and is not worth considering," the state North Korean Central Broadcasting Station said in a dispatch monitored by South Korea's Yonhap news agency.
"We have demanded that the United States drop its hostile policy toward the [North] and sign a bilateral nonaggression treaty with us. We have not demanded some kind of security guarantee."
Bush made his proposal at a summit of APEC leaders in Bangkok which was dominated by security issues including North Korea's nuclear threat. It would commit the US, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea to a no-invasion pledge.
Washington said that issues, such as when to offer a security pledge and exactly what North Korea would have to do beforehand, were still being debated.
North Korea fired at least one short-range missile off its east coast on Monday, rattling the gathering of Pacific Rim leaders and giving urgency to the yearlong nuclear crisis.
Bush's overture was a subtle yet significant shift in Washington's approach. The US had earlier insisted that North Korea created the nuclear crisis and must move first to end it. Pyongyang paid no heed and began taking steps that could give the country several more nuclear bombs in addition to the one or two it already is believed to possess.
Earlier this month, North Korea announced it completed reprocessing its stash of 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods and began using plutonium extracted from them to build more atomic bombs. Last week, it indicated that it might test a bomb.
Pyongyang's main state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Tuesday the August talks "clearly proved the US true intention to totally disarm and destroy" North Korea.
The Polish Supreme Court on Friday quashed a lower court’s green light for the extradition of a businessman to China for alleged fraud, a charge he has denied, saying that he is being targeted for supporting Falun Gong. Polish authorities took Chinese-born Swedish citizen Li Zhihui, now 53, into custody in 2019 on an international warrant issued by China for alleged non-payment in a business deal, Krzysztof Kitajgrodzki, his Polish lawyer, told reporters. Following the Supreme Court ruling, the case would return to a lower appellate court for review. Kitajgrodzki told reporters that it was still not a given that his client
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for
DELIVERING HOPE: The Japanese PM pledged to push ahead with plans to stage the Games, despite polls showing about 80% think they will not or should not happen Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday vowed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympic Games this summer with ample protection. In a speech opening a new session of parliament, Suga said that his government would revise laws to make disease prevention measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its caseload manageable with nonbinding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing, and for people to stay at home, but recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day, in part blamed on eased attitudes
On Sunday last week, in a nondescript building in the Indian city of Gwalior, 322km south of Delhi, a large crowd of men gathered. Most wore bright saffron hats and scarves, a color evoking Hindu nationalism, and many held strands of flowers as devotional offerings. They were there to attend the inauguration of the Godse Gyan Shala, a memorial library and “knowledge center” dedicated to Nathuram Godse, the man who shot Mahatma Gandhi. The devotional yellow and pink flowers were laid around a black and white photograph of Godse, the centerpiece of the room. On Jan. 30, 1948, Godse stepped out in