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NKorea rejects US's non-aggression pact offer

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Associated Press | October 12, 2013 01:11 AM EST | AP

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SEOUL, South Korea — SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea refused to sign a non-aggression pact that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered last week on condition of denuclearization.

In a statement carried by the North's official state media on Saturday, the National Defence Commission spokesman said the U.S. should stop sanctions meant to punish its February nuclear test and provocations including military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this week, North Korea criticized joint two-day naval drills among the U.S., South Korea and Japan as preparations for attacking the North. The allies said these drills were defensive in nature.

During his trip to Japan, Kerry said the door for negotiation with North Korea is open if it abandons nuclear weapons and complies with international demands.

The North's statement came as the mother of an American held in North Korea visited her son for the first time in his 11-month detention.