In exchange for a peace treaty with the United States and an end to annual military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, North Korea said it could stop nuclear tests, the Associated Press reported Friday night. The offer, similar to those the country had suggested before, was rejected by United States.
"Still valid are all proposals for preserving peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia including the ones for ceasing our nuclear test and the conclusion of a peace treaty in return for U.S. halt to joint military exercises," a spokesman for the country's foreign ministry said early Saturday, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month, North Korea ignited a worldwide backlash over claims that it had it tested a hydrogen bomb, yet experts expressed doubt over the assertion.
"In response to the U.S. continuously invading our sovereignty and making threatening provocations, we will acquire ourselves with all possible nuclear attack and nuclear retaliation abilities, but will not thoughtlessly use our nuclear weapons," the official Korean Central News Agency quoted the spokesman as saying, the Associated Press reported.
When questioned whether the U.S. would consider ending joint exercises with South Korea, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said it had alliance commitments to South Korea.
"We are going to continue to make sure the alliance is ready in all respects to act in defense of the South Korean people and the security of the peninsula," Kirby told a regular news briefing, Reuters reported.