The United States on Tuesday ruled out lifting sanctions against the North Korea as a condition for resuming six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue.
"It is not a subject to negotiation," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, claiming the sanctions are "protecting our national interest and combating their illicit activities."
The North Korea on Tuesday urged the United States to lift its sanctions in order to allow the resumption of the stalled six-party talks.
"The United States should, first of all, lift its sanctions against the North Korea, the main factor in scuttling the talks, before suggesting their resumption. The prospect of their continuing entirely depends on the US behavior," the leading newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary.
Before the fifth round of the six-party talks in November 2005, the United States froze eight North Korean enterprises' assets on its soil, accusing them of " proliferating weapons of mass destruction" and "illegal dealing".
(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2006)