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2010/01/18 19:09 KST
Seoul rejects N. Korea's demand for removal of sanctions

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea dismissed North Korea's demand Monday for the removal of U.N.-imposed sanctions before its return to six-nation nuclear talks, saying neither the forum nor its participants have the authority to lift the punishment.

The rejection came hours after North Korea's Foreign Ministry for a second time in a week said it will return to the nuclear negotiations only after relevant parties discuss replacing the armistice that ended the Korean War with a permanent peace treaty and the sanctions are lifted.