U.S. `hostile policy' blamed


Korea: The North's ambassador to the U.N. explains the nation's decision to withdraw from a nuclear treaty.

January 11, 2003

UNITED NATIONS - Pak Gil Yon, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations, spoke here and answered reporters' questions yesterday, blaming the United States "and its vicious, hostile policy" toward North Korea for the circumstances that prompted it to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Following are excerpts of his remarks from a text provided by the Federal News Service. Throughout, North Korea is referred to as the DPRK, which stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea:

"Under [U.S.] manipulation, the IAEA [United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency] termed the DPRK a criminal and demanded it scrap what the United States calls a nuclear program at once ... in disregard of the nature of the nuclear issue, a product of the United States hostile policy towards the DPRK. ...

The IAEA still remains a servant and a spokesman for the United States, and the NPT is being used as a tool for implementing the United States' hostile policy towards the DPRK, aimed to disarm it and destroy its system by force. ...

After the appearance of the Bush administration, the United States listed the DPRK as part of an axis of evil, adopting it as a national policy to oppose its system and single out it as a target of pre-emptive nuclear attack ... declaring a nuclear war.

Systematically violating the DPRK-USA Agreed Framework, the United States brought up another nuclear suspicion and has stopped the supply of heavy oil, reduced the Agreed Framework to a dead document. It also answered the DPRK's sincere proposal for a conclusion of the DPRK-USA Nonaggression Treaty and its patient efforts for negotiations with such a threat ... and arrogant attitude [that] negotiations are impossible. ...

It was due to such nuclear war moves of the United States against the DPRK and the partiality of the IAEA that the DPRK was compelled to declare its withdrawal from the NPT in March 1993, when a touch-and-go situation was created on the Korean Peninsula.

As it has become clear once again that the United States persistently thinks to stifle the DPRK at any cost, and the IAEA is used as a tool for erecting the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK, we can no longer remain bound to the NPT. ...

Though we pull out of the NPT, we have no intention to produce nuclear weapons, and our nuclear activities at this stage will be confined only to peaceful purposes, such as the production of electricity.

If the United States drops its hostile policy to stifle the DPRK and stops its nuclear threat to the DPRK, the DPRK may prove, through a separate verification between the DPRK and the United States, that it does not make any nuclear weapon."

Question: On behalf of the U.N. Correspondents Association, sir, I welcome you here. Thank you for your statement.

I wonder if you could characterize for us how you see the atmosphere at the moment in the peninsula. In other words, are we moving closer to a military confrontation? Have the North Korean forces been - military forces been - placed on a heightened state of alert? Should we be concerned about war?

Pak: As far as the peninsula itself, it is peaceful. ... Now [the situation is getting worse and worse], I think nobody can predict. Any situation might happen in the future - only due to the United States' behaviors.

Question: Ambassador, the United States has offered North Korea to talk but not negotiate. Do you reject that offer of dialogue, or what is your position at this point?

Pak: Negotiation can be made only if both sides agree to it. But the United States now says that we may talk to you how to comply with the international obligations, but we'll not negotiate with you. I think this is not a sincere attitude of the negotiators.

Question: May I ask, on what condition will your country return to NPT?

Pak: I don't want to comment. ... My government decided to withdraw from the NPT, effectively from tomorrow - immediately.

Question: I wonder why, if you're going to pursue a nuclear program only for peaceful purposes, that you thought it was necessary to pull out of the NPT, which is a nonproliferation regime?

Pak: The withdrawal from the NPT was originated from such a nuclear threat from the United States' side. And there was a DPRK and a United States joint statement on June 11, 1993. And one year later, there was agreed framework between the DPRK and the United States, by which the USA made a commitment not to make any nuclear threat against the DPRK.

But in real term, they systematically violated such obligations under such a joint statement and agreed framework.

Now, so this NPT, as well as the IAEA, are being used as a tool for the execution of the U.S. policy against the DPRK. So under - by which situation, by which our supreme national interest of the DPRK and dignity are seriously threatened. Under these circumstances, my government is compelled to take such a decision.

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