N. Korea blows off Obama diplomacy efforts
North Korea Vows to Bolster Nuclear Arsenal
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea vowed Friday to bolster its atomic arsenal in response to what it called Washington’s “hostile” policy, even as a special envoy for President Barack Obama traveled to the region in a bid to draw Pyongyang back to nuclear negotiations.
Envoy Stephen Bosworth, in Beijing before heading Friday to South Korea, said the U.S. is ready and willing to talk directly with Pyongyang.
“The United States reiterates its desire to engage both multilaterally and bilaterally with North Korea,” Bosworth told reporters after holding talks with senior Chinese officials Thursday. “We believe very strongly that the solution to the tensions and problems of the area now lies in dialogue and negotiation.”
But North Korea dismissed the Obama administration’s stance as “unchanged” from a previous policy of hostility toward Pyongyang.
“Nothing would be expected from the U.S., which remains unchanged in its hostility toward its dialogue partner,” the North’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media. The North “will bolster its nuclear deterrent as it has already clarified,” it said.
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