January 30, 2009 / 4:53 PM / 9 years ago

U.S. says North Korean rhetoric "distinctly not helpful"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea’s statement that it was scrapping all accords with South Korea is unhelpful, the State Department said on Friday.

“This type of rhetoric is distinctly not helpful but that’s not going to deter us from continuing our efforts to achieve (the) denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through the six-party framework,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters, referring to multilateral talks under which the North in 2005 agreed to give up all its nuclear programs.

“There is neither way to improve (relations) nor hope to bring them on track,” North Korea’s KCNA news agency quoted the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea as saying.

“The confrontation between the north and the south in the political and military fields has been put to such extremes that the inter-Korean relations have reached the brink of a war,” it added.

Wood repeated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s position that the six-party talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States were useful and said she would work with regional players on the issue.

“North Korea is a priority for us,” Wood said. “We are still looking at the various aspects of our policy and once that review is completed, we’ll have more to say to you about the way forward.”

Editing by Jackie Frank

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