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(LEAD) N.K. tells S. Korea to 'stop nonsensical' talk about denuclearization

All News 15:48 June 13, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS info in paras 7-12)
By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Saturday that South Korea should stop "nonsensical" talk about denuclearization, saying Seoul is not qualified to discuss or "poke their noses into" nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

Kwon Jong-gun, director-general of the department of U.S. affairs of North Korea's foreign ministry, made the remark in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, saying the South talking about denuclearization is like "burping after drinking a still water."

"It is really preposterous to hear the balderdash of South Korean authorities -- who do not have either any qualification to discuss, or the position to poke their noses into, the matters between the DPRK and the U.S., to say nothing of nuclear issues -- are commenting on the resumption of DPRK-U.S. dialogue and interpreting the issue of denuclearization at their own choice," he said.

DPRK is the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The official also said that it is not because there is not "a mediator that the DPRK-U.S. dialogue has gone away and the denuclearization been blown off, and it is because conditions are not met for denuclearization."

"I want to make it clear that we will continue to build up our force in order to overpower the persistent threats from the United States, and such efforts of ours are in fact continuing at this point of time," he said.

"If they want to deal with us, they will have to approach us after racking their brains and founding a different method. We are not what we were two years ago. The change continues and will continue as ever in a tremendous way," he added. "It is better to stop a nonsensical talking about denuclearization."

Kwon Jong-gun, director-general of the department of U.S. affairs at North Korea's foreign ministry (Yonhap)

The latest statement comes a day after an official at South Korea's foreign ministry said that the government will continue to strive towards the swift resumption of U.S.-North Korea talks and inter-Korean relations, and called on efforts for complete denuclearization to continue.

On Friday, North Korea vowed to build up a "more reliable" force against military threats from the United States in a statement issued by Foreign Minister Ri Son-gwon on the second anniversary of the first-ever summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

North Korea has been lashing out at South Korea almost every day since last week in anger over anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets sent by defectors and activists across the border. Pyongyang has also cut off all communication lines with the South.

On Friday night, Jang Kum-chol, director of the North's United Front Department, said the North has lost all confidence in the South Korean government and warned of "regretful and painful" times ahead.

The renewed tensions between South and North come as nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled for more than a year due to differences over the scope of North Korea's denuclearization and sanctions relief from the U.S.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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