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North Korea Says It Is Sorry About Nuke Test

From the disheartened Kim fans at the DNC’s Associated Press:

Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday October 19, 2006. Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said he had no details of the message conveyed by State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, who flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on Wednesday.

Report: N. Korea ‘sorry’ for nuke test

By BURT HERMAN, Associated Press Writer

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il said Pyongyang didn’t plan to carry out any more nuclear tests and expressed regret about the country’s first-ever atomic detonation last week, a South Korean news agency reported Friday.

North Korea, however, kept up its bellicose rhetoric as more than 100,000 people gathered Friday in Pyongyang’s central Kim Il Sung square to "hail the success of the historic nuclear test," according to the North’s official media.

Kim told Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan that "we have no plans for additional nuclear tests," Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source in Beijing.

Kim also told the Chinese that "he is sorry about the nuclear test," the mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo daily reported, citing a diplomatic source in China. The North Korean leader also raised the possibility the country would return to arms talks.

"If the U.S. makes a concession to some degree, we will also make a concession to some degree, whether it be bilateral talks or six-party talks," Kim was quoted as telling a Chinese envoy, the newspaper reported.

The delegation led by Tang met Kim on Thursday and returned to Beijing later that day.

China is viewed as a key nation in efforts to persuade the North to disarm, as it is the isolated communist nation’s main trading partner and provides almost all of its oil, and it is weighing tough options. Government experts have called for the reduction of critical supplies of oil and food.

A North Korean official, meanwhile, defended last week’s nuclear test and said Pyongyang would "crush U.S. imperialists’ schemes with its self-defensive power."

"No matter how the U.S. imperialists try to stifle and isolate our republic … victory will be on the side of justice," said Choe Thae Bok, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency’s Korean-language report.

Choe made the comments at a rally in the North Korean capital in which tens of thousands of citizens and soldiers cheered the nuclear test, according to KCNA — the first known celebration directly tied to the explosion…

Gee, I wonder why Kim has changed his tune?

(And wouldn’t it be nice if the US exerted its power the way China does?)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 20th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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