Seoul, Dec 11: North Korea on Monday said that Japan should not take part in talks over its nuclear programme, slamming Tokyo's recent crackdown on a pro-Pyongyang group as part of increased sanctions against the communist country.
After North Korea’s October 9 nuclear test, Japan has taken a series of steps against the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, or Chongryon, for its suspected role in North Korea's nuclear and chemical weapons programmes.
The group acts as Pyongyang's de-facto representation in Japan, which does not have formal diplomatic relations with the communist nation.
Japan's latest crackdown on Chongryon and its activities "is a tactic to cast a shadow on resuming the six-party talks by intentionally provoking us," the North's Rodong Sinmun said in an editorial on Monday, referring to the talks among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
"Japan is nothing but an impostor, not qualified to take part in the six-party talks," the newspaper said." Even if they do come to the six-party talks, there will be nothing useful, with them making it difficult to solve the issue and wasting time by bringing to the table irrelevant issues."
North Korea has in the past called for Japan to be excluded from the nuclear talks, where Tokyo has sought to solve the thorny issue of the return of Japanese citizens who were kidnapped by North Korean agents in the 1970s and '80s.