North Korea has slammed the United States for refusing to acknowledge Pyongyang's 'overtures' and rejecting an offer made by the reclusive country. North Korea had on Friday offered to suspend nuclear test if the military exercises between South Korea and US were halted.
Pyongyang called on Washington to "contribute to easing tension on the Korean peninsula" by suspending the annual US-South Korea military exercises – which the North calls a 'preparation of nuclear war'. Relying on its mouthpiece publication KCNA, North Korea said that the message had been conveyed through reliable channel to the American government.
Washington immediately rejected the overture as an "implicit threat". The State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Saturday that North's nuclear proliferation and the US-South Korea military drills were completely different matters.
"The DPRK statement that inappropriately links routine US-ROK [South Korea] exercises to the possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea is an implicit threat," Psaki told reporters adding that the South and US have been conducting the routine military drills for over 40 years.
On Monday, North Korea bashed the US for rejecting its offer. "It is nonsense that they blamed us for allegedly posing threats with the fourth nuclear test, which does not even take place, while conducting military activities continuously," said the Choson Sinbo, North Korea-affiliated newspaper in Japan, as noted by South Korean Yonhap News Agency.
In her statement, Psaki said that US was still open to meaningful dialogue with North Korea and urged Pyongyang to "immediately cease all threats, reduce tensions, and take the necessary steps toward denuclearisation needed to resume credible negotiations".
North Korea has so far conducted three nuclear tests, the last in February 2013. The other two tests were conducted in 2006 and 2009. As pressure mounted on the hermit kingdom with the western countries pushing to refer the country to International Court of Justice for its human rights records, North Korea threatened to hold another nuclear test late last year.