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US Rejects DPRK Appeal for Nonaggression Pact
The United States on Friday reiterated its rejection of a repeated appeal from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for a mutual non-aggression pact between the two countries.

"The issue is not nonaggression, the issue is whether North Korea (DPRK) will dismantle these (nuclear) programs," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters.

Boucher stressed that the United States has "no intent to invade the North (DPRK)."

The spokesman was responding to a statement made by the DPRK on Friday in which Pyongyang said it was willing to discuss its alleged nuclear program with Washington but insisted that a mutual nonaggression treaty be the only way to solve the problem.

The DPRK nuclear issue surfaced after the United States said in mid-October that Pyongyang admitted to US officials that it had been running a covert nuclear program.

In a formal statement issued later, the DPRK said that it was entitled to have nuclear weapons in face of increasing threats from the United States.

Although the Bush administration repeatedly said it has no plans to invade the DPRK, it has refused to rule out a military option completely.

(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2003)

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