UNITED NATIONS - North Korea offered on Tuesday to meet directly with the United States in a bid to sway Washington after it rejected Pyongyang's proposal to suspend nuclear tests if annual US military drills with South Korea were shelved.
North Korea's Deputy UN Ambassador An Myong Hun told a news conference at the United Nations that if Pyongyang's proposal was accepted then "many things will be possible this year on the Korean Peninsula." He did not elaborate.
On Saturday, the US State Department called the offer by North Korea a veiled threat that inappropriately linked nuclear tests and the joint military exercises that have been carried out for decades.
"The government of the DPRK (North Korea) is ready to explain its intention behind this proposal directly to the United States. We're ready for that if the United States wants additional explanation about our proposal," An told reporters.
An said the "meaningful and significant proposal" was made on Friday through "appropriate channels."
"By refusing to accept our proposal ... the United States has shown once again that they will continue to increase attack military capabilities in South Korea while requesting us not to have our own national defense capabilities. This is absolutely unacceptable and cannot be justified by anything," he said.