The United States says it is willing to talk to North Korea, but will make no concessions to persuade the communist government to give up its nuclear program.
A State Department spokesman made the announcement in Washington Tuesday, after U-S, Japanese and South Korean diplomats wound up two days of talks about how to deal with North Korea. The delegations called again on North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions, and they stressed that Pyongyang must live up to its obligations, if it wants good relations with the international community.
The three nations also repeated their intention to pursue a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the North Korean nuclear crisis. During a speech in Chicago earlier in the day, President Bush expressed hope for a peaceful easing of tensions with North Korea.
For its part Tuesday, North Korea threatened war if the international community retaliates because of its nuclear development program. Pyongyang issued the threat after the International Atomic Energy Agency said it would give the communist government one last chance to give up its nuclear ambitions.
The agency said if North Korea does not reverse course, the matter will be turned over to the U-N Security Council, which could impose sanctions.