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North calls for U.S. to pull troops

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Jan 03,2003
North Korea has repeated its call for the United States to immediately withdraw its forces stationed in South Korea. In its annual New Year editorial, Pyeongyang called the current tensions "a confrontation between Koreans in the north and the south against the United States" and demanded that the "aggressive forces" go home. The statement on Wednesday was carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. It also called for South Korea to stand with it in challenging the United States, saying inter-Korean cooperation was a "short-cut to reunification." The editorial did not directly address the latest confrontation over North Korea's recent announcement that it was reactivating its mothballed nuclear facilities. Pyeongyang has also said repeatedly that only direct talks between North Korea and the United States could resolve the problems. Washington has rejected any negotiations until Pyeongyang abides by what the United States says are broken promises to suspend its nuclear research. In an interview in Moscow, the North Korean ambassador there, Pak Ui-chun, said Tuesday that Pyeong-yang would work with Seoul's president-elect, Roh Moo-hyun, on the basis of continued attention to inter-Korean ties. An official at the Unification Ministry here predicted that the North would continue to try to maneuver a split between Seoul and Washington while keeping aid from South Korea flowing northward.
by Lee Young-jong
January 03, 2002




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