U.S. rejects DPRK's call for peace treaty talks

08:13, January 12, 2010      

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The United States rejected Monday the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s proposal to discuss a peace treaty before denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, with the White House and State Department both calling on the DPRK to honor its obligations in denuclearization.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters in a daily briefing that the DPRK has to come back to the six-party talks and take steps towards denuclearization for the peace treaty issue to advance, "if they're willing to live up to those obligations, then we will make progress in those talks."

He said this is not a step for the United States to take, but rather a step for the DPRK.

Later in the day, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley also said the issue in front of the DPRK is "saying yes, coming back to the six-party process, and then we can begin to march down the list of issues that we have, beginning with the nuclear issue ... then we are perfectly willing to have other kinds of discussions."

He noted in the Joint Statement of September 2005 agreed upon by the six-parties, namely the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States, establishment of a peace regime and normalization of relations among all parties concerned must be preceded by denuclearization.

Pyongyang said earlier Monday that it would discuss reaching a peace treaty with relevant state parties to replace the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War, either in the framework of the six-party talks, or in a "separate forum." It said the conclusion of the peace treaty would help promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Xinhua
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