North Korea urges U.S. to abandon hostile policy

North Korea on Monday urged the United States to abandon what it calls Washington's hostile policy toward the communist country, saying it is a fundamental obstacle to realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. "It is clear that denuclearization, peace and security guarantees for the Korean Peninsula can't be realized as long as the U.S. keeps its hostile policy toward our country," the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary carried by the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency. Pyongyang routinely accuses Washington of hostility toward the communist regime, although Washington maintains it has no intention of attacking the North. The North also repeated its accusation that Washington is seeking to tarnish the North's image by linking it to counterfeiting, drug trafficking and human rights abuses. U.S. allegations of the North's involvement in counterfeiting have been a major obstacle to resuming talks on Pyongyang's nuclear arms program. North Korea has dismissed the allegations as a lie and threatened to boycott the talks with the U.S., South Korea, China, Japan and Russia unless Washington lifts sanctions imposed over alleged illegal activities, reports the AP. I.L.

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