N. Korea Rejects U.S. Nuke Program Offer
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Tuesday rejected President Bushâs offer of a written pledge not to attack in exchange for the communist nation agreeing to scrap its nuclear weapons program.
Is it possible for a surprise meter to read negative numbers?
North Korea, in a radio broadcast, stuck to its stance that it would settle for nothing less than a formal nonaggression treaty that would legally bind the United States not to launch a pre-emptive strike against the isolated country.
Bush on Monday rejected North Koreaâs demand for such a treaty, which would require Senate approval. But he left the door open for some form of written pledge in which the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia would jointly give North Korea assurances that it would not be attacked if it promises to dismantle its nuclear program.
Cross our hearts and hope you die!
``It is a laughing matter and is not worth considering,ââ the state North Korean Central Broadcasting Station said in a dispatch monitored by South Koreaâs Yonhap news agency.
Oh well, we tried. Back to engaged apathy.
``We have demanded that the United States drop its hostile policy toward the (North) and sign a bilateral nonaggression treaty with us. We have not demanded some kind of security guarantee.ââ
"And we demand a pony!"
Bush made his proposal at a summit of 21 Asia-Pacific leaders in Bangkok, Thailand. The summit ended Tuesday with a call for a restart of multinational talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff. Bushâs overture was a subtle yet significant shift in Washingtonâs approach. The United States had earlier insisted that North Korea created the nuclear crisis and so it must move first to end it. Pyongyang paid no heed and began taking steps that could give the country several more nuclear bombs in addition to the one or two it already is believed to possess.
North Korea fired at least one short-range missile off its east coast on Tuesday, rattling the gathering of Pacific Rim leaders and giving urgency to the yearlong nuclear crisis.
Oh câmon! Whoâs going to be rattled by a Silkworm test?
A delegation of U.S. lawmakers hope to meet with North Koreaâs reclusive leader Kim Jong Il and discuss the crisis during a rare visit to Pyongyang next week.
Try the grass soup, fellas.
Posted by: Steve White 2003-10-22