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North Korea Warns South Korea Against Sanctions


North Korea has warned South Korea that it will take "corresponding" action if the South takes part in international sanctions against the North over its nuclear test earlier this month.

In a statement Wednesday, North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland says that if the South joins what it called the "U.S.-led moves to sanction and stifle" the North, it will regard that as "a confrontation against its own people."

South Korea has indicated it has formed a task force to study how to impose U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging the international community to adopt a more constructive approach to resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis, saying that pressuring the reclusive state is counterproductive.

Mr. Putin said Wednesday one of the reasons Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test October 9 was because some participants of the six-nation disarmament talks could not find the "right tone" in the negotiations.

On Tuesday, China said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had told Beijing officials he is not planning to conduct another nuclear test, unless international pressure provokes Pyongyang to change its course.

North Korea says it will return to the six-nation talks only if Washington lifts sanctions, including a freeze on the North's funds held in a bank in Macau.

U.S. authorities say the sanctions are a separate issue from the talks. They say they froze the funds because North Korea produces and circulates counterfeit U.S. currency, and is engaged in money-laundering activities.

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