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NKorea demands preconditions for talks' resumption
NKorea stops refusing to deal with SKorean leader, but places preconditions on resuming talks
By The Associated Press

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) ' North Korea is taking a step back from earlier vows that it would never deal with South Korea's leader, but it is demanding preconditions for resuming talks that include the cancellation of U.S.-South Korea military drills.

South Korea is unlikely to accept most of the demands made in a statement Thursday by the Policy Department of the North's powerful National Defense Commission. It follows comments Wednesday by a senior U.S. diplomat that Washington is open to diplomacy if Pyongyang improves ties with Seoul.

North Korea is also demanding that South Korea apologize for failing to properly respect late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and that it stop criticizing Pyongyang over two deadly 2010 attacks blamed on North Korea.

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