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Biden: U.S. ready to engage with N.Korea if talks 'genuine'

Vice President Joe Biden, speaks about the U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific region at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, in Washington, Thursday, July 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON: The United States is ready to engage in dialogue with North Korea, but only if Pyongyang is prepared for "genuine" negotiations and commits to giving up its nuclear ambitions, Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

North Korea offered talks with the United States after tensions spiked earlier this year when North Korea threatened the United States and South Korea with a nuclear strike.

Biden, who plays a leading role in U.S. foreign policy, chuckled about the offer during a speech on U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific region ahead of a trip next week to India and Singapore.

"As my mother would say, 'I've seen this movie before,'" Biden said. "We are ready, but only - only - if North Korea is prepared to engage in genuine negotiations.

"We will not countenance North Korea's pattern of provoking a crisis and then insisting they be rewarded in order to cease and desist from the actions they are taking," Biden said.

"We've been there before, only to find that once they'd got the space or the aid they need, they return to the same provocative, dangerous behavior and continue their nuclear march."

 

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