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North Korea wants talks with US

North Korea's top government body is proposing high-level nuclear and security talks with the US days after a planned meeting with rival South Korea collapsed.

The National Defence Commission said the talks should ease tensions and achieve peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has issued a series of angry statements since United Nations sanctions were imposed after a December rocket launch and a February nuclear test.

There have been threats of nuclear war by the North, followed by South Korean vows of counterstrikes.

Outside analysts say North Korea often expresses interest in talks after raising tension with provocative behaviour in order to win outside concessions.

Washington's top worry is North Korea's nuclear weapons programme. Pyongyang is estimated to have a handful of crude nuclear devices.

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