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US urges North Korea to begin 'serious talks', warns of further sanctions

Washington urged North Korea to freeze its nuclear program and end provocative behaviour in order to remove international sanctions. Photograph: (AFP)

WION New York, NY, United States Sep 19, 2016, 01.55 AM (IST)
The United States, Japan and South Korea on Sunday held discussions over North Korea growing nuclear capabilities, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. 

Washington urged North Korea to freeze its nuclear program and prove its commitment to starting negotiations. 

Secretary of state John Kerry said that the US would not shrink in rolling back the provocative, reckless behaviour of North Korea.

Kerry added that the United States would hold talks with Pyongyang provided it agrees to denuclearisation. 

"The immediate need is for them to freeze where they are, to agree to freeze and not to engage in any more provocative actions, not engage in more testing, particularly in order to bring countries together and to begin a serious negotiation about the future," said Kerry.

He said Washington is deeply committed to securing peace in the Korean peninsula. 

"The global community will not be intimidated and will not pull back from our obligations," Kerry said.

The foreign ministers warned that the North Korean test earlier this month would not go answered. It was the fifth and biggest nuclear test which was widely criticsed as an attempt to destabilise the regional and international security.  

South Korea said the nuclear tests were a threat to world safety. "What we see is a looming perfect storm that may not only pounce on Northeast Asia but sweep over the entire world," the South Korean foreign minister, Yun Byung-se said. 

"We must make North Korea understand that repeated provocations will isolate them from the international community and that there can be no bright future for them at all," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida commented. 

Pyongyang's ally, China, has been pushing for re-starting negotiations on North Korea's nuclear program. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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