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White House N Korea nuclear comment hypothetical

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, July 3 (Reuters) North Korea's vow to react with a nuclear strike if the United States launched an attack was ''deeply hypothetical,'' the White House said today.

In a war of words with Washington over North Korea's suspected plans to test-fire a long-range missile, Pyongyang promised an ''annihilating strike'' if attacked by the United States.

''It is a statement about what may happen if something that hasn't happened, happened ... it is still deeply hypothetical,'' White House spokesman Tony Snow said.

He reiterated that North Korea should resume talks stalled since November with the United States, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea over its nuclear program.

''The strong preference of the United States and the other parties in the six-party talks other than North Korea is for North Korea to rejoin the talks, to sit down at the table,'' Snow said.

REUTERS SHB RN2300

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