July 3, 2006

White House: N. Korea nuclear comment hypothetical

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea's vow to react with a
nuclear strike if the United States launched an attack was
"deeply hypothetical," the White House said on Monday.

In a war of words with Washington over North Korea's
suspected plans to test-fire a long-range missile, Pyongyang
promised an "annihilating strike" if attacked by the United

"It is a statement about what may happen if something that
hasn't happened, happened ... it is still deeply hypothetical,"
White House spokesman Tony Snow said.

He reiterated that North Korea should resume talks stalled
since November with the United States, China, Japan, Russia and
South Korea over its nuclear program.

"The strong preference of the United States and the other
parties in the six-party talks other than North Korea is for
North Korea to rejoin the talks, to sit down at the table,"
Snow said.