View Full Version : Rice Says Does Not Know If N. Korea's Kim Is Sane

06-14-2005, 08:33 AM
Rice says does not know if N.Korea's Kim is sane


(Gold9472: Fucking stupid bitch)

Mon Jun 13, 8:44 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday she did not know whether North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was sane, a remark that could anger Pyongyang's unpredictable ruler.

Asked if she thought Kim was sane during an interview with MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," Rice replied: "I don't know. I've never met the man." The interview was taped on Monday and was to be broadcast on Tuesday.

The United States last week raised expectations North Korea might resume six-way talks seeking to end its suspected nuclear weapons programs. It reported that North Korean officials said they would come back to negotiations but had not said when.

The talks between North and South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan have been on hold for a year because of the North's boycott. Meanwhile, the poor, reclusive state has boasted it possesses nuclear weapons.

North Korea is acutely sensitive to what U.S. officials say about it. On June 3, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman offered rare praise to President Bush for his having referred to the North's leader as "Mr. Kim Jong-il."

The spokesman suggested the comment might improve the atmosphere for holding the six-party talks.

A senior State Department official said while North Korea had not yet committed to a date, there was optimism about a new round of nuclear talks because "the atmospherics were good" when U.S. and North Korean officials met in New York last week.

"They did not make any demands on us. They did not refuse to come to the talks," he said, briefing reporters anonymously.

He acknowledged that "until we have a date, we don't have talks," but insisted the New York session was "a constructive meeting where they clearly indicated their desire to return."

Pyongyang was "trying to figure out how to get back," he said.

Reflecting U.S. warnings the North may be planning a nuclear weapons test, the official said Washington had had a "lot of very necessary discussions (with its partners) about what to do if there is a test," but he gave no details.

Asked about the North's March 21 statement that six-party talks must deal with U.S. as well as North Korean nuclear weapons, the official said, "We don't have nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula."

He said the statement seemed to suggest that Pyongyang, which in February declared itself a nuclear power, was trying to shift the six-party focus from persuading the North to abandon its nuclear programs to an arms control negotiation involving U.S. weapons.

The official ruled out a demand Washington state its willingness to live in peaceful coexistence with the North.

"We don't want to be reduced to a circus animal doing an act, being told to jump through various hoops or whatever at the behest of the North Koreans," he said.

"We have told them really all they need to know ... which is we have no intention to attack or invade, we do not question their sovereignty," he added.

Bush met for about 40 minutes in the Oval Office on Monday with Kang Chol-Hwan, who spent time in a North Korean prison camp and wrote the book, "The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years In The North Korean Gulag."

"The president read the book, it is a compelling story. The president is very concerned about the human rights situation in North Korea," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

The author is now a journalist in South Korea.