N. Korea defies IAEA resolution, calls agency 'stooge' of U.S.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

North Korea on Tuesday rejected calls by the U.N. nuclear watchdog to scrap its atomic weapons program as "unworthy of consideration."

The defiant North also accused the International Atomic Energy Agency as a "stooge" for the United States, which it said was preparing for a nuclear war on Pyongyang.

The 137-nation nuclear watchdog agency adopted a resolution by consensus on Sept. 19 urging North Korea to "completely dismantle" its nuclear arms efforts. It also called for the North to "accept comprehensive IAEA safeguards and cooperate with the agency in their full and effective implementation."

But the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency dismissed the resolution as "unworthy of consideration."

"We don't accept such an unjust resolution and declare it null and void," KCNA said in a statement.

North Korea has no obligations to comply with the calls since it has pulled out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty last January, it said.

"IAEA has manifested itself as the stooge of the United States by pressing us, victim of the U.S. breach of the Agreed Framework, to give up our rights to self-defense while turning a blind eye to the United States," it said.

North Korea has vowed to strengthen its "nuclear deterrent" to cope with the U.S. nuclear threat. The CIA estimates that North Korea has one or two nuclear weapons.

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