N Korea plays tough, says it wont beg for talks with US

March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2005, 05:30am hrs
North Korea's government said it won't beg for talks with the US as US government officials said the deadlock must end over resuming six-nation discussions on North Korea's nuclear program.

The army and the people of the DPRK (North Korea) do not wish to see the deteriorating relations with the US or any military standoff with it, the official Korean Central News Agency said late on Monday. North Korea will never beg for dialogue or peace.

The US may consider other options if North Korea remains unwilling to return to the six-nation forum, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday at the end of a visit to China. The issue could not drag on forever, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said at a briefing yesterday.

North Korea has rejected holding a fourth round of six- nation talks, citing US hostile policy. Rice, making her first visit to Asia last week as secretary of state, traveled to China, South Korea and Japan to discuss the North Korea issue.

Rice, in her news conference yesterday in Beijing, didnt elaborate on what options the US may be considering. She called on China, North Korea's closest ally, to help bring North Korea back to the talks that have been interrupted since June. The US doesn't intend to attack North Korea, Rice said.

North Korea's Premier Pak Pong Ju began a visit to Beijing today during which he will meet Chinese leaders, China's official Xinhua news agency said. The US is seeking to stifle North Korea by force of arms, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary issued today, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Bloomberg