Seoul (AFP) May 9, 2000 - North Korea's foreign ministry has accused the United States of exploiting the Stalinist state to justify US missile programmes.
"No one can be fooled by the US tricks," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the North's official Korea Central News Agency late Monday.
"The United States slandered the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in a bid to avoid the daily growing international criticism of the National Missile Defense system."
The costly missile defense project is aimed at protecting US troops at home and abroad by intercepting and destroying enemy missiles.
The United States has stationed 37,000 troops in South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended here in a fragile armistice.
Washington was working hard to establish the system "despite public criticism at home and abroad," the spokesman said.
"The US is making much ado about the 'threat from North Korea's long-range missile' to this end."
The accusation came a week after the US State Department announced the resumption of talks with the North in Rome on May 24.
Richard Boucher of the State Department also said in a statement that Washington would use the talks to push the implementation of the Agreed Framework on North Korea's nuclear program as well as missiles and improved relations.
Famine-hit North Korea has been actively attempting to end decades of diplomatic isolation in a bid to reach out to the outside world to get aid, normalizing ties with Italy in January and Australia Monday.
But talks with the United States have been rocky.
The United States last week redesignated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism despite Pyongyang's demands to be removed from the list.
Seoul (AFP) April 10, 2000 - US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn will hold talks with South Korean officials here early next week on Seoul's bid to extend the ranges of its missiles, officials said Friday.
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