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U.S. Demands N. Korea Show Readiness to Denuclearize Before Any Talks

The Obama administration's special envoy for North Korean policy matters on Monday demanded that Pyongyang demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization before any new negotiations are held over its nuclear-weapons work, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

"Our view is that we cannot get back to the six-party talks until we see a much greater degree of willingness on the part of North Korea to take steps it has already promised to take," Glyn Davies, special representative of the secretary of State for North Korea policy, told reporters during a visit to Seoul.

Davies was responding to calls by China for the United States to join it in participating in semi-formal discussions on Sept. 18 with other members of the frozen six-nation talks process: Japan, the two Koreas and Russia.

Noting Pyongyang's aggressive behavior this past spring -- which caused tensions on the Korean Peninsula to skyrocket -- as well as its recent insistence that it be viewed as a nuclear-armed nation, Davies said "it's difficult to imagine how six-party rounds could be productive at the moment."

Davies is anticipated to discuss with South Korean officials this week how best to respond to Beijing's proposal for Track 1.5 talks, according to an anonymous diplomatic insider.

Washington and Seoul have finished work on a draft contingency plan for responding to future North Korean nuclear provocations, Yonhap separately reported on Sunday.

The bilateral-deterrence plan took 10 months to complete and is intended to enhance the U.S. nuclear umbrella over South Korea. The document includes diplomatic, political and military counter-actions for responding to different types of nuclear threats by North Korea. This response plan is expected to be inked by the two countries' heads of Defense on Oct. 2.

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