USA dismisses North-South Korea talks as 'band-aid'

Kim made the shocking warning in his New Year address

REUTERS TRIGGER FINGER Kim made the shocking warning in his New Year address

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations rejected potential talks between Seoul and Pyongyang at a news conference here Tuesday, rebuffing the prospect of any substantive dialogue without a commitment by the North to abandon its nuclear weapons.

"We think we need to have them stop nuclear weapons and they need to stop it now", she said, warning: "We will never accept a nuclear North Korea". The demonstrations are completely spontaneous. "This is the precise picture of a long oppressed people's rising up against their dictators".

Responding to Seoul's offer of high-level talks with Pyongyang, Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters: "We won't take any of the talks seriously if they don't do something to ban all nuclear weapons in North Korea".

"The people of Iran are crying out for freedom", Haley said at a news conference. "Hundreds have been arrested", she added. "I don't think we should be silent".

Kim and Trump have exchanged fiery barbs in the previous year and the USA president has warned that the United States would have no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies.

"The administration is withholding $255 million in assistance to Pakistan". Nauert said she was not aware if the matter had been discussed in advance of the South Korean response.

"We consider this to be a very reckless regime", the U.S. envoy said.

A reporter later asked Haley why the USA stood by moving the embassy to Jerusalem when so many other nations opposed it.

"I stood proudly even if I was the only hand in the Security Council to fight for the will of the people of the United States", Haley replied.

"Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not - we will see!"

Still, a senior administration official said U.S. officials are taking inventory of ways they can be supportive of the demonstrations and come up with "creative" ideas.

Haley also spoke briefly about North Korea, calling United Nations resolutions "a great achievement" but emphasizing that work remains to ensure those resolutions are enforced.

Iran's missile program is not in breach of its nuclear deal and will continue despite objections from the United States, President Hassan Rouhani has said.

South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon suggested such talks take place after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed hope his country's athletes would participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea this February.

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