By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (Yonhap) -- The United States does not and will not recognize North Korea as a nuclear weapons state as it seeks to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, a state department spokesperson said Monday.
"That is not our policy. I do not foresee that ever becoming a policy," Ned Price told a press briefing when asked about the possibility of the U.S. ever recognizing North Korea as a nuclear state.
The remarks come as North Korea is widely anticipated to conduct a nuclear test, its seventh, in the near future.
Price has said Pyongyang continues to prepare for a nuclear test and that a test could take place "at any point."
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in September 2017.
"There has been no change to U.S. policy. Our DPRK policy remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the spokesperson said when asked if the U.S. may consider engaging in arms control dialogue with the North.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.
The department spokesperson, however, reiterated that the U.S. remains open to dialogue with Pyongyang without any "preconditions."
"We, of course, would like to see the DPRK engage in serious, substantial dialogue on this. Until now, they have not done so. We have made clear we don't have preconditions for dialogue," said Price.
"It sounds like the DPRK may be in a different position, but we believe that by engaging in dialogue and diplomacy we can most effectively bring about what is our ultimate objective and that is the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he added.
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