From the Foreign Ministry of North Korea

U.S. Derailing the Denuclearization Process

Pyongyang, April 30, 2003 (Korean Central News Agency -- minor editorial changes made by the AINS)

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) issued a statement today as regards the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. that has entered a crucial phase. The statement says:

The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was proposed by the DPRK and it has made positive efforts for it as it is the wish of the whole Korean nation.

The DPRK government has long consistently called for the denuclearization of the peninsula from its peace-loving stand.

In January 1992 it adopted the "joint declaration on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" with South Korea and has striven hard to implement it by the efforts of the whole nation.

The U.S. however, has persistently pursued its strategic aim, going against the desire of the Korean nation. Finally it went to the lengths of torpedoing the process of denuclearization in Korea.

It is a publicly recognized principle and requirements of international law that nuclear weapons states should respect the status of non-nuclear states and refrain from threatening those countries with all types of arms including nukes.

But from the very day of its assumption of office, the present U.S. administration, not content with pursuing an undisguised hostile policy toward the DPRK, singled it out as part of "an axis of evil" and a target of U.S. preemptive nuclear attacks, wantonly violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and all other international agreements and virtually reducing the inter-Korean declaration on denuclearization to a dead document.

The DPRK called for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to ensure peace and protect the sovereignty and the dignity of the nation, not to disarm itself under the U.S. pressure and fall victim to a war.

The reality requires the DPRK to deter the escalating U.S. moves to stifle the DPRK with physical force, compels it to opt for possessing a necessary deterrent force and put it into practice.

The U.S. is entirely to blame for this development.

The U.S. describes this stand of the DPRK as "threat" and "blackmail" to it.

This is, however, illogical.

The U.S. was the first to have access to nukes and is the world's biggest possessor of weapons of mass destruction.

The Bush administration asserts that it is just for the U.S. to mount preemptive attacks on other countries when it deems necessary and has already perpetrated them in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This superpower openly listed the DPRK as part of "an axis of evil" and a target of its preemptive nuclear attack. Isn't this a threat?

How can the possession of means for just self-defence by such a small country as the DPRK be "threat" and "blackmail"?.

This is just like a guilty party filing the suit first.

The DPRK has already set forth a practical proposal to cross over the prevailing crisis in a peaceful manner and fundamentally settle the nuclear issue at the recent Beijing talks and the U.S. delegation went back after properly hearing about the DPRK's stand.

The U.S. administration is now becoming increasingly assertive that the DPRK issue be referred to the UN again in a bid to internationalize it.

The UN is not a body meant to control small countries in the interests of big countries.

If the UN Security Council is to discuss the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, it should take to task the U.S. for having derailed the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

If the U.S. finally brings up the nuclear issue for discussion at the UN and abuses its name again, the DPRK will be left with no option but to consider taking practical measures to cope with an emergency.

It will be clear that what the DPRK will decide will be neither a threat nor blackmail.

Whether the Korean Peninsula becomes denuclearized or not will entirely depend on the U.S. policy.