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North Korea Calls for Acknowledgement as a Nuclear-Armed Nation

North Korea on Tuesday called for global acknowledgement as a nuclear-armed nation, clearly dismissing a U.S. demand that it recommit to denuclearization prior to the holding of any diplomatic discussions aimed at reducing regional tensions that have spiked this year, Reuters reported.

"If the D.P.R.K. sits at a table with the U.S., it has to be a dialogue between nuclear weapon states, not one side forcing the other to dismantle nuclear weapons," Pyongyang's propaganda newspaper Rodong Sinmun said.

Washington on Tuesday quickly dismissed the demand, Reuters separately reported. "North Korea's demand to be recognized as a nuclear weapons state is neither realistic nor acceptable," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman said.

Pyongyang also rejected a U.S. State Department report citing the North for human rights violations and said it would increase its nuclear weapons development in retaliation, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, China's special envoy for North Korea policy, Wu Dawei, held talks with top U.S. officials in Washington on Monday that focused on avenues for re-engaging with Pyongyang, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

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