Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bush sticks to hard line on North Korea

(CNN) U.S. President George W. Bush has maintained his hard line on North Korea, saying there will be no assistance to Pyongyang until it gives up its nuclear weapons and programs.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Gyeongju, South Korea, the U.S. leader said a sought-after "light water nuclear reactor" would not be delivered until the "appropriate time." And that time was "after they (North Korea) have verifiably given up their nuclear weapons and programs."

President Bush was speaking after a meeting Thursday with South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun, during which the two men had extensive discussions on how to deal with the North's nuclear capabilities.

South Korea has resisted the tough approach advocated by the Bush administration for ending the impasse with North Korea, opposing the idea of military action if diplomacy fails. South Korea also is cool to the idea of taking the standoff to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

President Roh left open the possibility of another leaders summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, but also said the six-party talks were the best framework for dealing with the nuclear situation.

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