published Saturday, June 15th, 2013

North Korea proposes talks with Washington

  • photo
    North Korean army officers punch the air as they chant slogans during a rally at Kim Il Sung Square in downtown Pyongyang, North Korea in this file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea’s top government body is proposing high-level nuclear and security talks with the United States days after a planned meeting with rival South Korea collapsed.

The National Defense Commission said Sunday that the talks should ease tensions and achieve peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has issued a series of angry statements since U.N. sanctions were imposed after a December rocket launch and a February nuclear test. There have been threats of nuclear war by the North, followed by South Korean vows of counterstrikes.

Outside analysts say North Korea often expresses interest in talks after raising tension with provocative behavior in order to win outside concessions.

Washington’s top worry is North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang is estimated to have a handful of crude nuclear devices.

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