Seoul, 3 March 2005 -- North Korea says it no longer is bound by a moratorium on testing long-range missiles. The government said a "hostile" U.S. policy is forcing it to develop its nuclear arsenal.
A North Korean Foreign Ministry statement said the moratorium was established in 1999 when dialogue was under way with then-President Bill Clinton. It said President George W. Bush cut off talks when he took office in 2001, making the moratorium invalid.
Last month, North Korea said it has nuclear arms and is suspending participation in talks on its nuclear program with five other countries: South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, and the United States.
Since then, the country has said it would return to the talks with if Washington shows "sincerity" in its dealing with North Korea. Today, the foreign ministry said the U.S. government should apologize for calling North Korea an "outpost for tyranny."