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Korea standoff

Seoul, Jan. 8 (Reuters): North Korea accused the US today of increasing the danger of war on the Korean peninsula, just hours after Washington changed tack and signalled a willingness to talk about their nuclear standoff.

The reclusive Communist state’s KCNA news agency made no mention of the US offer, nor of the UN watchdog’s deadline for it to readmit nuclear inspectors within weeks, but decried Washington’s “racket of a nuclear threat”. The U.S administration, which had previously insisted North Korea roll back recent steps to revive its nuclear weapons plans before any talks, announced its new position yesterday after holding talks in Washington with South Korea and Japan. But it insisted that it would not allow North Korea’s nuclear programme to become a bargaining chip.

“The ‘nuclear issue’ that renders the situation on the Korean peninsula strained is a product of the US strategy to dominate the world whereby it is working hard to bring a holocaust of a nuclear war to the Korean nation, calling for a pre-emptive nuclear strike after deploying lots of nuclear weapons in and around South Korea,” KCNA said.

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