Friday, December 22, 2006

N. Korea nuke talks end without deal

BEIJING - The first talks on North Korea's nuclear program since the communist nation tested an atomic device ended Friday without an agreement to move ahead on disarmament or schedule further negotiations.

During five days of meetings in Beijing, negotiators said Pyongyang refused to talk about its nuclear weapons program, and instead stuck to its demand that the U.S. remove financial restrictions it has imposed on the regime.

North Korea's main nuclear envoy said Friday the communist nation would bolster its atomic arsenal in response to U.S. pressure.

"The U.S. is taking a tactic of both dialogue and pressure, and carrots and sticks," Kim Kye Gwan told reporters. "We are responding with dialogue and a shield, and by a shield we are saying we will further improve our deterrent."

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