US refuses N Korea call on peace talks

US refuses N Korea call on peace talks
# 12 January 2010 13:07 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Ziya Agazadeh – APA. The US has dismissed a North Korean call for a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War, saying Pyongyang must first commit to ending its nuclear weapons programme.

In a statement on Monday, North Korea said a peace treaty was essential because "the state of war" is a root cause of the hostile relations with Washington, APA reports citing AL Jazeera news agency.

US State Department spokesman said that a peace treaty would only be discussed once North Korea comes back to the six-nation disarmament talks and takes steps on abandoning its nuclear programme.

However North Korea says the resumption of the nuclear talks depends on building confidence between Pyongyang and Washington, which can be achieved by starting talks on a peace treaty and lifting UN-backed sanctions.

The US and North Korea have never had diplomatic relations because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula technically still at war over the past five decades.
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