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North Korea no longer wants to negotiate with the United States
North Korea no longer wants to negotiate with the United States and four other nations in an effort to ease the ongoing standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear program, China's state news agency said Saturday. The official Xinhua News Agency, citing an anonymous North Korea Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the official reiterated the communist regime's Feb. 10 decision to indefinitely suspend its participation in six-party nuclear disarmament talks. Those parties are the United States, the two Koreas, China, Russia and Japan, informs ABC News. Reviving the stalled talks has taken on greater urgency since North Korea's explosive but unconfirmed declaration earlier this month that it has become a nuclear power. After announcing it had an arsenal, Pyongyang demanded one-on-one meetings with the United States to discuss the nuclear dispute a move Washington rejected. On Saturday, the North Korean official withdrew that demand. The North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said Pyongyang no longer was willing to hold direct talks with Washington because of what it described as the United States' alleged persistent attempts to try to topple the communist regime, Xinhua said. A senior Chinese Communist Party official flew to North Korea on Saturday, joining a flurry of jet-setting diplomats seeking to salvage talks aimed at ending the nuclear crisis surrounding the isolated state. But at the same time, North Korea stressed again that it was not ready to rejoin the six-party negotiations involving the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan. Wang Jiarui, head of the Chinese Communist Party's international liaison department, said the fate of stalled six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme would be up for discussion. "We will express China's constant stand and viewpoint," he told CCTV state television before departure, stressing that his was a routine visit. "This time, we will also exchange ideas with our counterparts on some common issues of concern." China said this week it was committed to the six-party process and that putting pressure on the North was not a solution. But Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei did not hold much hope for a quick return to the talks process, publishes Reuters
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