N. Korea Wants Direct Talks with U.S.

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North Korea opened the door to possible dialogue with the U.S. Monday on resolving tensions over their nuclear weapons program.

A statement from Pyongyang's foreign ministry suggested North Korea is open to direct talks with the United States, but not six-nation nuclear talks.

"It became all the more clear that other parties are taking advantage of these six-party talks to seek their ulterior aims to disarm and incapacitate the (North) so that it can only subsist on the bread crumbs thrown away by them," Monday's statement said.

Over the weekend U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed dialogue, but told the communist nation to stay with the six-nation nuclear talks because it is "the appropriate way to engage."

"We still want North Korea to come back to the negotiating table and be part of the international effort that will lead to denuclearization," Cliinton said Sunday. "But we're not going to reward them for doing what they said they would do in 2005 and 2006 and we are not going to reward them for half measures. They know what we expect."

The communist regime has rarely made an effort to speak directly with the United States.

Tensions with North Korea have increased in the recent months after they defiantly conducted a long-range rocket launch in April, restarted nuclear facilities, conducted its second-ever nuclear test, test-launched a barrage of banned ballistic missiles, and quit the six-nation nuclear talks.

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