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DPRK Urges US to Lift Financial Sanctions

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday urged the United States to hold bilateral talks with it to settle the issue of financial sanctions against eight DPRK enterprises.

"Lifting the financial sanctions against the DPRK enterprises is essential for creating an atmosphere for implementing the joint statement and prerequisite to the progress of the six-party talks," said a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman.

"the United States has escalated its pressure offensive against the DPRK quite contrary to its expectation since the publication of the joint statement, thereby throwing a great hurdle in the way of the progress of the talks and the implementation of the joint statement," he added.

"It has become ever more undisguised in its moves to isolate and pressurize the DPRK as evidenced by the fact that it labeled the dignified DPRK a 'lawless state,' raising a hue and cry over 'counterfeit notes,' 'drug smuggling' and applied financial sanctions against it even while the talks were underway," the spokesman said.

"Though the US claims to stand for a negotiated solution to the issue, it is, in actuality, seeking to 'bring down the DPRK's system' by isolating and pressurizing it," he added.

He said that "it is quite unreasonable for the DPRK to sit at the negotiating table with the party keen to 'bring down its system' and discuss the issue of dismantling the nuclear deterrent built up to defend it."

The spokesman warned to take all corresponding self-defense measures if the US persist in its sanctions and pressure in violation of the joint statement agreed upon by the six parties."

The US pressure offensive against the DPRK not only runs counter to the spirit of the joint statement but makes it impossible for the latter to honor its commitment," the spokesman added.

The DPRK and the US once agreed to have talks between the heads of the delegations to the six-party talks in order to take up and settle the issue of financial sanctions.

"The US side, however, again reneged on its promise and perpetrated such perfidy as shunning the talks," the spokesman said.

"The US said that it would set in motion working officials of its Department of Treasury and the Secret Police Service to brief the DPRK side on the US Act, backtracking from the agreement on holding talks to find a solution to the issue," he said.

"The US side should fulfill its commitment made before the five parties, if it truly wishes to see progress at the six-party talks," the spokesman said.

Before the fifth round of the Six-party Talks, the US froze eight DPRK enterprises' assets in the US, accusing them of "proliferating mass destruction weapons" and "illegal dealing."

(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2005)

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