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Clinton calls on DPRK to take steps toward denuclearization

11-30-2011 13:36 BJT

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday renewed the call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to rid itself of its nuclear program, shortly after Pyongyang announced progress in enriched uranium production.

"The United States stands with our ally and we look to North Korea to take concrete steps that promotes peace and stability and denuclearization," Clinton, currently in the South Korean port city of Busan for a global forum, was quoted as telling reporters by Yonhap News Agency.

Her remark came after the DPRK said it will continue producing low-enriched uranium, which it said is "progressing apace," flouting the much-repeated demand to disarm.

"The right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy is an issue vital for the sovereignty and development of the DPRK and, therefore, neither concession nor compromise should be allowed," a DPRK foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the state media.

The DPRK's "peaceful nuclear activities" can provide a solution to the country's electric power shortages, the spokesman added.

The announcement is expected to put a damper on recent diplomatic efforts to revive talks aimed at dismantling Pyongyang' s nuclear program, last held in 2008.

The United States insists Pyongyang abandon its uranium enrichment program and allow inspectors to verify the disarmament process before resuming the six-party negotiations.

Pyongyang, on the other hand, wants talks with no preconditions and accuses the United States of presenting an obstacle to the talks, which also involve South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

Washington and Pyongyang officials recently held two rounds of rare talks over resuming the disarmament negotiations, but not much progress has been reported.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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