North Korea says it won't renew talks with the United States without first receiving recognition as a nuclear power, a label that in essence bestows approval.
The United States has stood in staunch opposition to North Korea's nuclear development program. Further, the U.S. says talks with North Korea can't continue until that country vows to give up its nuclear pursuits, Agence France-Presse reported.
North Korea calls that condition "totally unacceptable," AFP reported. And in a written statement published in the state's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, North Korean authorities reiterated that any meeting with Western officials must be "between nuclear weapons states," AFP reported.
The conflicting viewpoints represent a clear stalemate to talks.
The remarks come on the heels of escalating tensions between Korea and its southern neighbor, and with Japan and the United States, over a third nuclear test that was conducted in February.
Just this week, China warned that North Korea could conduct a fourth nuclear test at any time.
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