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Russian Envoy Denies American Claim that North Korea Threatened to Test Nukes!

This report is in stark contrast to the American (cough, cough) Free Press' hyping of the alleged threat made by NK to test its nukes. Somebody here is lying. Can you guess who? Hint: which nation lied about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction? Let's see if the American Media reports this Russian denial in the same way it hyped the supposed NK "threat" to test its nukes. Don't hold your breath.
Russia denies N Korean threat of nuclear test

MOSCOW: Russia's top negotiator on North Korea denied on Friday that Pyongyang had threatened to conduct a nuclear test during crisis talks on its standoff with Washington.

"The North Korean delegation did not make such a declaration at the Beijing talks," RIA Novosti quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov as saying.

"US officials' claims that North Korea made the threat do not correspond to reality", Losyukov was separately quoted as saying by Interfax.

Washington officials said a defiant North Korea threatened to formally declare itself a nuclear power and conduct a nuclear test in the near future.

They said North Korea's envoy to the talks, Kim Yong-Il, made the bombshell declaration in front of the US delegation and envoys from Russia, China, South Korea and Japan on talks on the 10-month-old nuclear crisis.

But Russia's top Asia hand suggested that US officials had misunderstood Kim's comments.

"I think the North Koreans were stating that if they continue to feel a threat coming from the United States or other nations, then they will need to continue working to strengthen their national security, including in its nuclear programme," he was quoted a saying by RIA Novosti.

"Only then they might show us something," he said in reference to a nuclear test. "But there were no such threats from North Korea at the six-way talks," Losyukov stressed.

Meanwhile, six-nation talks in Beijing on the North Korean nuclear crisis ended in acrimony with North Korea threatening to strengthen its nuclear arsenal unless Washington met its demands for a resolution of the standoff.

While envoys reached consensus on the need to address Pyongyang's security concerns and agreed that more talks were necessary, they failed to set a timetable.

North Korea said its expectations at the three-day talks had been betrayed by the United States' hostile policy and that a new round of negotiations was endangered.

China characterised the relationship between the United States and North Korea as one of severe and serious distrust that needs to be addressed.

A report meanwhile, said that Japan, South Korea and the United States have agreed to freeze the construction of light-water reactors in North Korea as Pyongyang insists on its nuclear ambitions.

Wang Yi, China's chief delegate to the six-way North Korean nuclear talks that ended yesterday, said the parties had reached a six-point consensus following three days of talks.

It includes that all sides agree to resolve the nuclear issue through peaceful means and dialogue, secondly they maintain that while a nuclear-free Korean peninsula should be realised, the security concerns of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea should also be taken into consideration, thirdly, all sides agree to explore an overall plan to resolve the nuclear issue in a just and reasonable manner, fourthly, all agree that in the process of negotiations any action that may aggravate the situation should be avoided, fifthly, all agree that dialogue should continue to establish trust, reduce differences and broaden common ground and finally, all sides agree that the six-party talks should continue and the specific date and venue should be decided through diplomatic channels as soon as possible.

Also yesterday, China revealed that the United States said during six-way nuclear talks that it has no intention of attacking North Korea or seeking regime change.

China also said that North Korea is not seeking nuclear weapons and wants to see a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

"The DPRK (North Korea) expressed with all countries that its overall objective is to seek a nuclear weapon-free peninsula," Wang Yi told a briefing.

The controversial Tokyo governor urged the Japanese government yesterday to impose economic sanctions against North Korea to speed up negotiations over the issue of Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang.

French President Jacques Chirac called on North Korea yesterday to proceed with the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its military nuclear programme as a key step towards improving world security.

"France hopes that the process of talks underway, thanks to the efforts of China, will permit the creation of conditions for a global settlement of the North Korean problem," Chirac said in a speech.

Later yesterday, the United States warned it would not submit to nuclear "blackmail" from North Korea, accusing its Cold War enemy of souring inconclusive six-nation crisis talks with "bellicose and extreme" behavior.



More on this issue can be found at Wanninski.com:

North Korea Testing What Nukes?
August 29, 2003
Send to a Colleague

Memo: To Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From Jude Wanniski
Re What's going on here?

The big story making all the major papers and of course carried on the networks is that North Korea's deputy foreign minister told the six-nation multilateral conference in Beijing that it possesses nuclear weapons and will soon test them. That's how the New York Times played it. But if you look around, you find a variety of accounts on what happened. It seems the DPRK official did not announce this plan at the conference, but said it to the US delegate, Undersecretary of State James Kelly, at an informal gathering that followed the conference. North Korea's official position is that it does not have as its goal the acquisition of nuclear weapons, so how does it now test a nuke? Here is the account by the Beijing correspondent for The Age,, and Australian newspaper, which carries the story of the chatter between the North Korean delegate and Kelly, supposedly overheard by others, but there is no confirmation that this is actually what was said. Wait a few days and I think we will see no such threat was made.