We Won't Bow To N. Korean Threats, Broken Promises, White House Says

By Patrick Goodenough | July 7, 2008 | 8:12 PM EDT

Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - The U.S. will not enter into dialogue with North Korea "in response to threats or broken commitments," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Thursday.

He was responding to an announcement by Pyongyang that it was immediately reactivating a nuclear program frozen under a 1994 agreement with the U.S.

In its statement, North Korea hinted that it was open to a negotiated settlement, saying it wanted to find "a peaceful solution" and that it was up to the U.S. whether the North reversed the decision and froze its nuclear facilities once more.

Fleischer, who was with President Bush on a visit to Philadelphia, told reporters the administration would continue to look for a peaceful resolution.

"The announcement flies in the face of international consensus that the North Korea regime must fulfill all its commitments, in particular dismantling its nuclear weapons program," he said.

Last October, the State Department said North Korea admitted to the existence of a program to enrich uranium - a process used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

The move, which infringed the 1994 Agreed Framework deal, prompted the U.S. to end the shipment of fuel oil to the impoverished communist country - another element of the agreement.

Pyongyang said Thursday its new decision to reopen frozen facilities was a response to the suspension of the U.S. fuel supplies.

Washington earlier offered to reopen discussions with North Korea if it immediately and verifiably gave up its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

See Related Story:
North Korean Nuclear Crisis Deepens (Dec. 12, 2002)

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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow