SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea rejected as “pie in the sky” U.S. offers of talks and possible aid in exchange for abandoning its nuclear ambitions, accusing Washington yesterday of staging a “deceptive drama” to mislead world opinion.

Keeping up a stream of anti-American invective – even as it agreed to more high-level meetings with South Korea next week – Pyongyang declared it would accept no U.S. offer of dialogue with conditions attached.

Washington’s “loudmouthed supply of energy and food aid are like a pie in the sky, as they are possible only after the DPRK is totally disarmed,” a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a report by the country’s foreign news outlet, KCNA.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said yesterday the United States had not heard any official word from Pyongyang.

“That’s an additional unfortunate comment that North Korea has made,” Fleisher said of the North’s reported dismissal of a possible aid agreement.

After assuring South Korean officials in Seoul that Washington will stick to diplomacy to resolve the North’s nuclear dispute, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly met Chinese officials in Beijing to seek their help.

Before meetings with the Chinese diplomats yesterday, Kelly said he was “reassured” by progress in coordinating an effort to pressure North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

As North Korea’s only remaining major ally, China is in a strong position to influence its communist neighbor. China traditionally supports a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

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