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N. Korea warns against discussing it in summit

(Yonhap News)
(Yonhap News)
North Korea on Wednesday strongly warned against the upcoming Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, saying any attempt to raise the issue of North Korean nuclear programs during the summit will be deemed “a declaration of war.”

The North’s state-run Korea Central News Agency said South Korea’s Lee Myung-bak administration is trying to take advantage of its status as a host of the summit to make the international community hostile towards the North.

“If there is any provocative act such as the issuance of a so-called statement concerning ‘the North’s nuclear issue’ at the Seoul conference, it would constitute an extreme insult to the North’s deceased leaders who left denuclearization as their final wish,” the KCNA said in a commentary.

“Taking part in traitor Lee Myung-bak’s devilish act would only worsen the situation on the Korean peninsula all the more.”

The Seoul nuclear security summit is to gather leaders from 53 countries and four international organizations in southern Seoul on March 26-27, to discuss safeguarding nuclear materials around the world and preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorists.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan earlier said that although North Korean nuclear issue is not on the official agenda, it could be discussed in bilateral talks on the sideline of the nuclear security summit.

“There is no such thing as ‘North Korean nuclear issue,’ therefore, no reason to mention it at the meeting,” the KCNA said.

The North said Seoul’s hosting of the summit itself ridicules the local and overseas public, and an international shame because “the Korean Peninsula is the world’s largest nuclear powder keg.”

Although the North agreed with the U.S. to freeze its nuclear programs in exchange for food aid on Feb. 29, it recently announced that it would launch a satellite into space using a long-range missile technology. The U.S. has deemed the North’s decision a deal-breaker.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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