SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is not interested in an Iran-like dialogue with the United States to give up its nuclear capabilities, the isolated country’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement said North Korea’s nuclear program was an “essential deterrence” against U.S. foreign policy toward the reclusive country, which the North views as hostile.
“It is not logical to compare our situation with the Iranian nuclear agreement because we are always subjected to provocative U.S. military hostilities, including massive joint military exercises and a grave nuclear threat,” said the statement, which was carried by state media but attributed to a foreign ministry spokesman.
“We do not have any interest at all on dialogue for unilaterally freezing or giving up our nukes,” it said.
The United States and five world powers struck an historic deal with Iran last week that will limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for sanctions relief.
The Iran agreement was a great political victory for U.S. President Barack Obama, who has long promised to reach out to historic enemies, including North Korea.
The deal, in return for lifting U.S., EU and UN sanctions that have crippled its economy, stipulates that Iran must accept long-term limits on its nuclear program.
North Korea is also heavily sanctioned by the United States, European Union and the United Nations for procuring equipment related to its ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
“We are clearly a nuclear power and nuclear powers have their own interests,” the North Korean statement said.
Reporting by James Pearson and Seung Yun Oh; Editing by Paul Tait