North Korea lambasted the U.S. for making up preconditions for dialogue between states, as Seoul prepares to send an envoy to Pyongyang to find a way to ease the nuclear standoff.
The North's representative then accused the USA of "amassing huge strategic assets in and around the Korean Peninsula, and mulling staging joint military exercises aimed at a pre-emptive nuclear attack on North Korea".
A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday that dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington is "possible", but underscored that it will happen only on equal footing and without preconditions.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono is planning to visit the United States later in the month for talks on dealing with North Korea once the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics wrap up, an official said Saturday. "There had been no case at all where we sat with the USA on any precondition, and this will be the case in the future, too".
It further said the military drills between the US and South Korea would harm reconciliation efforts and the North shall be "forced" to counter the US.
The country, which had tested three intercontinental ballistic missiles previous year, is now under heavy economic sanctions imposed by the USA and the United Nations.
According to the Pentagon, North Korea probably has a long-standing chemical weapons program with the capability to produce nerve, blister, blood, and choking agents and likely possesses a chemical weapons stockpile that could be used with artillery and ballistic missiles. Trump has also threatened to use military force if diplomacy fails to end the nuclear crisis. In a statement circulated by its diplomatic mission at the U.N.in NY, the North's foreign ministry said it "does not have a single record of developing, producing and stockpiling a chemical weapon". It demanded that Washington first accept it as a nuclear power before discussing ways of easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The joint military exercises between the US and South Korea are set to begin in April. He planned to send a special envoy to North Korea soon to find ways to narrow the gap between the United States and North Korea over the terms under which they could start a dialogue.
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