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N. Korean diplomat says situation surrounding N. Korea, U.S. very dangerous

A North Korean diplomat stationed in the United Nations has said that Pyongyang and Washington are in a very dangerous situation following the shutdown of their communication channel in New York, a U.S.-based media report said Tuesday.

The diplomat made the remark in a telephone conversation with Voice of America, saying, "Now the situation is very dangerous due to the complete shutdown of the dialogue channel."

According to VOA, the North Korean official, who declined to be identified, said he had previously kept contact with Mark Lambert, director of the office of Korean affairs at the U.S. State Department.

North Korea announced on July 11 that it will close down its diplomatic communication channel with the United States in protest of Washington's sanctions on the North's leader Kim Jong-un over human rights violations.

The U.S. does not have official diplomatic relations with North Korea, but North Korea's mission to the United Nations, known as the "New York channel," has been used as the main communication conduit between the two nations in the past.

As to the shutoff of the New York dialogue channel, the North Korean diplomat said, "It is our strong determination not to forgive the U.S. sanctions on North Korea." The North denounced the U.S. move as "an open declaration of war."

Asked about North Korea's intention to resume dialogue with the Obama administration, he said it is a matter to be considered after Washington apologizes and withdraws sanctions on North Korea.

Related to this, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau told VOA that Washington is open to dialogue with Pyongyang to resume sincere negotiations for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. (Yonhap)