State Department responds to North Korean comments on treaty

North Korea must refrain from provocations and take meaningful actions toward denuclearization if the country wants to talk peace with the U.S., the State Department said on Tuesday.

Patrick Ventrell, the director of the State Department's press office, made the statement on Tuesday during a daily press briefing. Ventrell responded to a question about a recent comment made by North Korean Ambassador to the U.N. Sin Son-ho. Sin said on Friday that North Korea both wanted a peace treaty talk with the U.S. and that the country will never give up its nuclear program.

Ventrell said North Korea cannot have it both ways if it wants to talk peace.

"The onus is on North Korea to take meaningful actions toward denuclearization and refrain from provocations," Ventrell said. "They've committed on numerous occasions to abandoning nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, including in the September 2005 joint statement. So we continue to hold the D.P.R.K. to those commitments and its international obligations."

When asked if he thought North Korea would come back to the Six-Party Talks without any preconditions, Ventrell said that North Korea knew what was required of it. He also said North Korea is aware of the seriousness of purpose the nation must show to initiate peace talks.