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U.S. sees no indication of denuclearization talks with DPRK
From:Xinhua  |  2017-10-01 13:02

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- After months of sanctions and threats, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has shown no interest in talks on giving up its nuclear weapons, the U.S. State Department said Saturday.

"North Korean (DPRK) officials have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearization," U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Nauert reiterated that the United States is not interested in "promoting the collapse of the current regime, pursuing regime change, accelerating reunification of the peninsula or mobilizing forces north of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)."

The statement came after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed during a visit to China that the United States has direct channels of communication with the DPRK.

"We have lines of communications to Pyongyang. We're not in a dark situation or a blackout. We have a couple of direct channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them ... We've made it clear that we hope to resolve this through talks," Tillerson said.

At a congressional hearing on Thursday, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton said the purpose of putting pressure on the DPRK was to bring it back to negotiations on denuclearization.

China commended the U.S. commitment to resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Friday, calling on Washington to convert its resolve into concrete actions.

"We have noticed that relevant parties released positive signals recently on peacefully resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue via dialogue. We encourage these moves," Lu said.

"China is affirmative of the commitment and hopes the United States can convert it into concrete actions," he said, calling on the DPRK to exert joint efforts.

"We expect all relevant parties can show their sincerity to pave the way for peaceful talks," Lu said.

Tensions have been running high on the Korean Peninsula after the DPRK conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a new resolution toughening sanctions against Pyongyang. In response, the DPRK tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) which flew over Japan.

The war of rhetoric was resumed between Pyongyang and Washington as U.S. President Donald Trump said in his debut UN speech on Sept. 19 that his country would have no choice but to "totally destroy" the DPRK if "it is forced to defend itself or its allies."

Top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un issued a rare statement in response to the Trump's UN speech, warning Washington of the highest-level hardline countermeasure in history.

U.S. strategic bombers and fighter escorts flew in international airspace over waters off the DPRK's east coast on Sept. 23, causing a strong backlash from Pyongyang as the DPRK's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho called it as a declaration of war.

China has discouraged the two countries from escalating their war of words and has repeatedly expressed the hope that both U.S. and DPRK statesmen have the wisdom to realize that the use of force is not an option for resolving the peninsula issue.