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North Korea Urges US Talks
North Korea, suspected by Washington of making nuclear weapons, urged the United States on Tuesday to sit down to talks and said economic sanctions would mean war with "no mercy".

Its warning came hours after US President George W. Bush said he remained open to dialogue with the North after the UN nuclear watchdog gave Pyongyang a last chance to readmit expelled inspectors.

It also coincides with the departure of a South Korean presidential envoy to Washington in a fresh bid to defuse the crisis.

In a report complaining about the United States' brief seizure of a shipload of North Korean missiles bound for Yemen last month, Pyongyang's KCNA news agency said Washington's assertion of the right to intercept ships was proof of its "illegal and inhuman hostile policy towards the DPRK (North Korea)" and its unilateralism.

"What matters is that such piracy is being committed as part of the US-tailored containment strategy against the DPRK. The strategy means total economic sanctions aimed at isolating and stifling the DPRK.

"Sanctions mean a war and the war knows no mercy. The US should opt for dialogue with the DPRK, not for war, clearly aware that it will have to pay a very high price for such reckless acts."

South Korean national security adviser Yim Sung-joon, despatched to Washington on Tuesday, was expected to suggest that the United States give North Korea security assurances and promises to resume energy supplies in return for the North abandoning its nuclear programme.

(China Daily January 7, 2003)

US Government Urged to Talk with DPRK Directly
US Rejects DPRK Appeal for Nonaggression Pact
US-DPRK Agreement Possible on Nuclear Issue
US Urges DPRK Not to Restart Frozen Nuclear Programs
DPRK Ready to Punish Aggressors
US Calls on DPRK to Replace Monitoring Gears at Nuclear Reactor
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