N. Korea: U.S. Policy Could Spark War
January 1, 2005
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea issued a New Year's message on Saturday telling its impoverished people that U.S. actions on the Korea peninsula could lead to war.
A joint editorial carried by North Korea's Rodong Sinmun and two other major state-run newspapers said that "the U.S. moves against the DPRK have become more pronounced and they are increasing the danger of a war on the Korean Peninsula."
North Korea traditionally marks New Year's Day with a joint editorial by the country's three major newspapers representing its communist party, military and youth militia force.
"The U.S. should give up its attempt to stifle the DPRK by force of arms and make a switchover in its hostile policy toward it," the editorial said, using the acronym for the communist state's official name - Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
A "switchover" in U.S. policy is a key demand North Korea wants fulfilled before rejoining six-nation talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons programs.
The United States, the two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia have held three rounds of talks since last year to find a way of ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions. But no breakthroughs were reported. A fourth round scheduled for September never took place because the North refused to attend, accusing Washington of plotting to invade it.
Washington wants an immediate end to all the North's nuclear activities. North Korea insists that it needed a nuclear "deterrent" to guard against U.S. invasion, and says it will abandon it only if the United States provides economic compensation and security guarantees.
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