Friday, March 18, 2005

Rice: U.S. Awaits N. Korea Answer on Nukes

By ANNE GEARAN, The Associated Press, Friday, March 18, 2005; 6:46 AM

TOKYO - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice indicated Friday that the next move in a standoff over North Korea's nuclear program will be up to the Pyongyang government, and she played down expectations that her visit to Asian capitals will produce a breakthrough.

North Korea pulled out of six-nation nuclear arms talks and announced last month that it has already built a nuclear weapon. "We need to intensify efforts to not just get the North Koreans back to the table, that's important, yes, but there is a proposal on the table from the United States," Rice said during a news conference en route to Japan.

The United States has offered assurances that it has no intention of attacking North Korea and that Pyongyang can have other unspecified security guarantees if it renounces nuclear weapons.-----------------

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