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WASHINGTON – North Korea has rejected a U.S. offer from Secretary of State John Kerry for direct talks because of a U.S. condition that it abandon its nuclear and missile development programs before international sanctions are lifted.

“‘Dismantlement of nukes first’ and implementation of the ‘resolution on sanctions’ set forth by the hostile forces as preconditions for dialogue are aimed to force the DPRK to lay down arms and bring it into submission,” a North Korean statement said.

The DPRK is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the formal name of North Korea.

“Prompted by this calculation,” the statement said, “the U.S. has constantly been engaged in the dangerous nuclear blackmail and sanctions against the DPRK for decades, and whenever their political and military circumstances did not get their way, they made dialogue offer.”

WND previously reported North Korea has all but rejected negotiations to lessen tensions on the Korean Peninsula, saying that “durable peace can be achieved only through sacred war.”

North Korea’s original offer for direct talks with the U.S. without South Korea followed its recent bellicose rhetoric to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S. because of what it considered to be provocations.

The “provocations” include recent U.N. sanctions  in response to North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons test programs and the ongoing joint annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises that will finish at the end of this month.

“The dialogue rhetoric and war moves on the part of the U.S. are both aimed at stifling the DPRK,” the North Koreans said. “Therefore, they are an open challenge to the DPRK and a declaration of showdown with it.”

North Korea then threatened to touch off a “bitterer counterattack” in response to the “intensified confrontation” from the U.S. and South Korea.

Rejection of direct talks now leaves open the question of what the Obama administration will do to defuse what has become a major confrontation on the Korean Peninsula.

Ultimately, the U.S. is hoping for regime change in Pyongyang and a reunification on South Korea’s terms, which would do away with the North Korean identity. Pyongyang’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, vehemently rejects that.

The communist nation said it will consolidate its nuclear force for “self-defense and the toughest confrontation” with the U.S.

“No appeasement and deception will ever work on the DPRK,” the statement said. “The hostile forces should clearly understand that their intensified confrontation moves will touch off bitterer counterattack from the army and people of the DPRK.”

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If the U.S. undertakes a pre-emptive attack of its own, the DPRK said that “its strongholds will be blown up,” implying that it will attempt to attack U.S. bases in South Korea and Japan.

Referring back to the 1950 Korean War, the statement said that the “U.S. trigger-happy forces” would draw a lesson from its “shameful defeat” due to a miscalculation and advised against misjudging the DPRK.

“The present Obama administration is going in the direction of stepping up its hostile policy toward the DPRK, far from drawing a lesson from the failure of this policy,” the North Korean statement said. “It is making desperate efforts for fear that its policy will totally go bust if the DPRK, a full-fledged nuclear weapons state, achieves even economic prosperity by building a thriving nation.”

For years, North Korea has imported food from the international community and China while pursuing its missile and nuclear weapons development program.

However, the military buildup has come at the expense of the people, half of whom are regarded as starving. Increasingly, it appears that North Korea may not have enough food to feed its own army.

Analysts suggest that if North Korea’s back is to the wall and it decided to launch an attack on South Korea in a desperate move, its ability to sustain a conflict may last for only weeks.

Kerry recently stated that the U.S. will not accept a nuclear North Korea, showing a major gap between the U.S. and the DPRK in any negotiating position.

“It is a legitimate right of the DPRK to self-defense to take counter-measures now that it has become clear that the U.S. scenario for a nuclear war has reached the phase of its implementation which nothing can stop.”

The North Korean statement was referring to the ongoing joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in which the U.S. recently sent B-52s and B-2s capable of carrying nuclear weapons from Guam and the U.S., respectively.

The bombers then dropped inert bombs just 50 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone that separates North from South Korea.

The action prompted North Korea to accuse the U.S. of preparing to wage a nuclear war on the DPRK. Analysts say that Pyongyang’s bellicose rhetoric has reached the most intense level since the beginning of the Korean War in 1950.

“The DPRK does not want a war but is compelled to stand up against the aggressors as they are trying to impose the war upon it,” the statement said.

The DPRK not only said that it will “never abandon its nuclear deterrence for self-defense” but will increase its capability “as long as the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces remain in South Korea and persist in their moves to ignite a nuclear war against the DPRK.”

The statement implied a further North Korean condition that the U.S. also abandon South Korea before there can be talks.

The statement said that it has built a “power nuclear deterrent” against any U.S. nuclear threat.

In referring to what it regards as a “grave challenge,” the DPRK statement said that the Korean Peninsula “will be engulfed in the flames of a nuclear war in a moment” if the DPRK were to act like “those countries in the Balkans and the Middle East” which it claims fell victim to aggression after abandoning its war deterrent capability.

The statement was referring to both Iraq and Libya giving up nuclear weapons ambitions only to become subjected later to regime change, led principally by the U.S. and its allies.

“The powerful nuclear deterrent of the DPRK serves as matchless strength to firmly defend the destiny and dignity of the nation from outsiders’ interference and aggression and meet all challenges of anti-reunification forces and a precious treasure of the nation which can never be bartered for anything,” the DPRK statement said.

North Korea may have achieved the ability, judging from last February’s nuclear test, to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to fit on its array of short-, medium- and long-range missiles.

While some analysts question whether the North Koreans can mount a nuclear warhead on a missile to launch a long-range, pre-emptive attack on the U.S., there remains concern that its missiles can hit both South Korea and Japan.

The concern recently has prompted both South Korea and Japan to reconsider their previous prohibition on developing nuclear weapons and missiles that can reach all of North Korea. Until now, the U.S. has maintained that both countries come under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, but politicians in both countries are beginning to question the long-standing policy.

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