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NKorea ready for nuke talks

 

The Foreign Ministry of North Korea called for a direct dialogue with the United States at any place and at any time in response to a new US proposal.
In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim Myong-gil, roving ambassador of the Foreign Ministry, said he could not understand why the US Department of State sent Pyongyang a message saying it hopes to meet with North Korean officials in December through a third party.
“If the US side has found a solution to be presented to us, it can just explain it to us directly,” the roving ambassador said.
“If the negotiated solution of issues is possible, we are ready to meet with the US [officials] at any place and any time,” he added.
On Thursday, North Korea also criticized US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, calling the former vice president a “rabid dog.”
“Rabid dogs like Biden can hurt lots of people if they are allowed to run about,” the KCNA news agency said. “They must be beaten to death with a stick.”
“Doing so will be beneficial for the US also,” it added.
North Korea has a military nuclear weapons program and, as of early 2019, is estimated to have an arsenal of approximately 20 to 30 nuclear weapons and sufficient fissile material for an additional 30 to 60 nuclear weapons. North Korea has also stockpiled a significant quantity of chemical and biological weapons.
In 2003, North Korea withdrew from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Since 2006, the country has been conducting a series of six nuclear tests at increasing levels of expertise, prompting the country to come under sanctions.
North Korea showed an interest in developing nuclear weapons since the 1950s.
The nuclear program can be traced back to about 1962, when North Korea committed itself to what it called “all-fortressization,”which was the beginning of the hyper-militarized North Korea of today.
In 1963, North Korea asked the Soviet Union for help in developing nuclear weapons but was refused.
The Soviet Union agreed to help North Korea develop a peaceful nuclear energy program, including the training of nuclear scientists. Later, China, after its nuclear tests, similarly rejected North Korean requests for help with developing nuclear weapons.
Soviet engineers took part in the construction of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center and began construction of an IRT-2000 research reactor in 1963, which became operational in 1965 and was upgraded to 8 megawatts in 1974.
In 1979, North Korea began to build a second research reactor in Yongbyon, as well as an ore processing plant and a fuel rod fabrication plant.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program dates back to the 1980s. Focusing on practical uses of nuclear energy and the completion of a nuclear weapon development system, North Korea began to operate facilities for uranium fabrication and conversion, and conducted high-explosive detonation tests.
Global Times


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