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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Plan for N. Korea Rejects Simultaneous Steps

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea's demand for simultaneous concessions from Washington in exchange for scrapping its nuclear arms program has been rejected in a plan put forward Monday by the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Instead, the plan would reward Pyongyang's disarmament with security guarantees and other concessions in "coordinated steps" over time, a Seoul official said.

U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials met in Washington last week to fine-tune the proposal, which was conveyed to China on Monday and was later to be passed to North Korea.

The three allies, along with China and Russia, are trying to organize a second round of nuclear crisis talks with communist North Korea.

"Our concept was staged, or step-by-step. We now call it coordinated steps," said a senior South Korean official involved in North Korea policy, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official declined to give details.

He said the North Korean demand for simultaneous action is "not going to be acceptable to us."

North Korea first floated its demand in abortive three-way talks with the United States and China in April. The United States and its allies dismissed it as unacceptably favorable to North Korea, which wanted U.S. aid and security guarantees for simply promising to abandon its nuclear program.