Rice pushes for fresh nuclear talks with North Korea

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Condoleezza Rice, in Japan as part of her first trip to Asia as United States Secretary of State, gave a speech in which she urged North Korea to return to currently stalled six-party talks. She also pressed Asian partners in the talks, China, Japan, and South Korea, to make greater efforts to bring Pyongyang back into the fold.

North Korea insists that Rice's labelling of Pyongyang as "an outpost of tyranny" is evidence that it is regarded as an enemy rather than an equal partner in the negotiations by the United States. The North Korean government has stated that it will not return to talks until Rice retracts this statement.

Pyongyang claims that it desires nuclear weapons as a defense against American aggression, although many members of the Bush administration have previously insisted that the United States has no intention of invading North Korea.

Rice will also travel to South Korea and China before ending her Asian tour.


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