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N.Korea Accuses Bush Of Putting Six-Party Talks In Jeopardy

AFP file photo of the members of the last round of six party talks in Beijing.

Seoul (AFP) Nov 08, 2005
Stalinist North Korea accused US President George W. Bush on Tuesday of putting six-party nuclear disarmament talks in jeopardy by slandering its leader.

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said the US president was "hurling mud" at its leader Kim Jong-Il, citing Bush's reported remarks on Sunday during his trip to Brazil.

Bush "malignantly slandered our supreme headquarters with such unspeakable vituperation as 'tyrant' and the like," the spokesman said in a statement on the North's official Korean Central News Agency, monitored in South Korea.

"If this is true, what he uttered is a blatant violation of the spirit of the joint statement of the six-party talks which calls for 'respect for sovereignty' and 'peaceful co-existence'," he said.

The accusation came on the eve of a new round of talks in Beijing on North Korea's nuclear program, which brought together China, the two Koreas, the United States, Russia and Japan.

The six nations issued a joint statement of principles in September in which North Korea promised to scrap its nuclear programs in exchange for energy assistance and other benefits.

"It is hard to discern whether Bush is aware of the content of the joint statement or he intentionally pretends to be ignorant of it. However, what is clear is that he does not know about the trend of the times at all," the spokesman said.

Bush's remarks "arouse our serious concern about the prospect of implementing the joint statement and deprive us of any trust in the negotiators of the US side to the six-party talks who claim to have been mandated by him," he said.

"We will never pardon whoever dares speak ill of our supreme headquarters in any case."

North Korea was engaged in a war of words with the United States before it returned to the six-party forum four months ago after a year-long hiatus.

As a preconditon for its return the North Korea had at that time demanded that Washington retract Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's reference to North Korea as an "outpost of tyranny."

Rice made the remarks during her January confirmation hearing in the US Senate and refused to retract them.

Previously Bush had referred to Kim as a "pigmy" who starves his people while North Korea's official media called Bush a "war maniac" and "Hitler junior."

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North Korea To Be Given New Disarmament Timeline At Talks
Beijing (AFP) Nov 08, 2005
North Korea will be urged to adopt a step-by-step plan towards nuclear disarmament when the latest round of six-nation talks begins Wednesday, Japan's chief negotiator said.

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