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North Korea acknowledges nuclear weapons

[JURIST] For the first time publicly, North Korea acknowledged Thursday that it has nuclear weapons, and said it has pulled out of a six-nation negotiation [US State Department backgrounder] aimed at persuading the communist country to abandon its nuclear ambitions. In a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency [official website; English version] the North Korean Foreign Ministry said: "We had already taken the resolute action of pulling out of the NPT [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty; official text] and have manufactured nukes for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's ever-more undisguised policy to isolate and stifle [North Korea]." US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice [White House bio] responded on Thursday by saying that North Korea should reconsider its decision [CNN report] and return to the talks. AP has more. BBC also has full text of North Korea's statement. The International Atomic Energy Agency provides additional information on the North Korean nuclear program and non-proliferation issues.

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