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North Korea Warns Against Sanctions, Says It Will Strengthen Arsenal If They're Imposed

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UNITED NATIONS — North Korea says it will strengthen its nuclear arsenal if new sanctions are imposed because of its weapons program.

Pak Kil Yon, the country's deputy foreign minister, told the U.N. General Assembly on Monday that his country would however "react to dialogue with a dialogue" with the United States.

Washington had previously demanded the North first return to the six-nation negotiations before allowing bilateral talks. The U.S. now says it is considering direct talks if that would bring the North back to negotiations.

Although the Obama administration is pursuing diplomacy with the North, U.S. officials are tightening sanctions and pushing Asian nations and others to implement punitive U.N. measures.