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North Korea to U.S.: let's sign a peace treaty

Pyongyang insists it would never have built nukes if U.S. guaranteed peace
North korea peace talks 2011 07 27Enlarge
A South Korean veteran holds a placard showing North Korean flags and portraits of Kim Jong-Il (L) and his son Jong-Un (R) during a rally in Seoul. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea says only a peace treaty with the U.S. will kickstart negotiations to draw down its nuclear weapons program.

One of the reclusive government's senior envoys is heading to New York to see if such an agreement is possible. Previous talks -- which brought North Korea's chief backer China to the table along with South Korea, U.S., Japan and Russia -- fizzled out with little progress.

In a nutshell, North Korea wants U.N.-imposed sanctions to end and wants the U.S. to pull its massive troop presence out of South Korea. Pretty much every other country on earth wants the unpredictable, totalitarian leadership in North Korea to get rid of its nuclear bombs. (The expections, perhaps, are countries that trade nuclear secrets with North Korea, such as Iran.)

Only a peace treaty, the North Koreans say, can revive discussion of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

Besides, from Pyongyang's perspective, the U.S. practically forced them to build all those nuclear missiles. According to the New York Times, a newly released statement "reiterated North Korea’s contention that it would not have built nuclear weapons if the United States had assured it of peace."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-korea-us-lets-sign-peace-treaty